4344 Shaw Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63110
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ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), August 24, 2016 - This year marks the 40th Anniversary for the Japanese Festival, Saturday, September 3 and Sunday, September 4 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Monday, September 5 (Labor Day) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Garden will commemorate by offering even more sensational programming to delight the crowds. From traditional music to martial arts, bon odori dancing to bonsai, thunderous taiko drumming to Tea House Island tours, the three-day Labor Day weekend is filled with sights, sounds and experiences for the entire family.
Seiwa-en, the "garden of pure, clear harmony and peace" and one of the largest authentic Japanese strolling gardens in North America, takes center stage for the weekend's festivities. A boisterous opening ceremony kicks off the celebration Saturday morning at the Japanese Garden entrance with an elaborate omikoshi Shinto shrine parade, bon odori festival dancing, taiko drumming and remarks by local and visiting dignitaries.
The private Teahouse Island of the Japanese Garden will be open for guided public tours every hour from noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and from 11 to 4 p.m. on Monday. Normally closed to the public, visitors can see the Garden's soan, or farm hut-style teahouse, which was a gift from Missouri's sister state of Nagano prefecture in Japan. Originally built in Japan, the teahouse was reassembled on-site by Japanese craftsmen and dedicated during a Shinto ceremony in 1977. Teahouse tour tickets are $5 each, and the maximum group size per tour is 20.
Samurai Sword Soul's performances offer an engaging mix of comedy routines, humanistic-theme drama and thrilling sword fights. The sword technique is based on Waki Ryu Tate, which was created by Keihei Wakisaka; the spirit of Seido Karate; and Kendo - a Japanese fencing technique.
The inclusion of the Luck Eisa group during this year's festival is made even more special in that the St. Louis Okinawa Kenjinkai will be celebrating their 20th Anniversary and the Japanese Festival is celebrating its 40th Anniversary.
Watch martial arts demonstrations of judo, kendo, aikido and karate-do, along with the more ancient koryu bugei. Learn about the disciplined art of ikebana flower arranging and the proper pruning of a delicate bonsai tree. Marvel at the quick work of ice sculptor Naomi Hamamura as he wields a chain saw to create birds and other objects from large, frozen blocks.
Stop by the Spink Pavilion to enjoy children's activities including origami paper folding and traditional Japanese games. Shop for souvenirs and other Asian-inspired merchandise at the Japanese marketplace and the Garden Gate Shop. Sample Japanese cuisine at the outdoor food court, including sushi, yakisoba noodles, pancake-like okonomiyaki and green tea ice cream.
Wind down with an evening showing of the anime feature "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" at 8 p.m. on Saturday evening. Listen to a demonstration of Japanese karaoke on Sunday. Take a candlelit stroll through the Japanese Garden from 8 to 10 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday nights. Admission is $15 for adults ages 13 and over and $5 for members; member children (ages 12 and under) are free. For general information, call (314) 577-5100 (toll-free, 1-800-642-8842).
The Missouri Botanical Garden, fondly known as Shaw's Garden to St. Louisans, contains a formal English garden, traditional Japanese garden, Margaret Blanke Grigg Chinese garden, the Flower Trial Garden, greenhouses and extensive landscaping. The garden also features the Climatron Complex, water lily reflection ponds and the William T. Kemper Center for Home Gardening.
The Climatron® geodesic dome and rainforest conservatory was dedicated 40 years ago in October 1960, replacing an old house built in 1913. The structure incorporates principles established by innovative architect R. Buckminster Fuller and was the first application of geodesic engineering for a greenhouse. The St. Louis architecture firm of Murphy & Mackey developed plans for the facility with Garden director Frits W. Went, who coined the term, Climatron.
The dome is 70 feet high and 175 feet in diameter, permitting tall palm trees to tower majestically above the tropical vista of streams, waterfalls and 1,200 different species of exotic trees and plants. Temperature ranges from 64 to 74 degrees and average humidity is 85 percent.
Visitors can enjoy a sense of being in a jungle while making their way by orchids, passion flowers, hibiscus flowers, cycads and a number of endangered species. In 1976, the dome was named one of the 100 most significant architectural achievements in United States history.
The Garden, covering 79 acres, is located at 4344 Shaw Blvd, just south of Hwy 44 between Vandeventer and Grand. Extended summer hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays only from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Free parking on premises, as well as an extensive gift shop and restaurant with patio dining. For more information, call the GardenLine at 314-577-9400 or 800-642-8842.
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