Kick off your summer at the annual two-day Natsu Matsuri (Summer Festival) on June 22 and 23 at the Venice Japanese Community Center on the Westside. 

Everyone, young and old, spontaneously joins the Ondo at the VJCC Natsu Matsuri.

The festival displays the talent, artistry and skills of VJCC’s many associate clubs in keeping with its mission “to preserve, share and promote Japanese and Japanese American culture and heritage.”

Every club participates in the festival, which is also a major fundraising event for them and the center. If a club isn’t operating a game booth, such as the goldfish toss or nickel toss for fun and prizes (don’t miss the dunk tank), then it will be operating a food booth. 

And what food! Have your fill of traditional favorites including snow cones, sushi, teriyaki chicken and udon, or western treats like tacos and corn on the cob.

View the artistic handiwork of the members who come to the center to learn and practice bonsai, calligraphy, water coloring and flower arranging. Watch a demonstration of martial arts — judo, karate, kendo, aikido. Enjoy the dance shows by the Line Dance and Hula Dance clubs and the Odori group, listen to the musical demonstration by the Language School, and stay for the thrilling taiko demonstration both Saturday and Sunday by the renowned Venice Koshin Taiko.

End each evening by participating in the traditional ondo dance.

Come to the recently remodeled VJCC on: Saturday, June 22, 12 to 10 p.m.; Sunday, June 23, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Where: VJCC, 12448 Braddock Dr., Los Angeles (one block west of Centinela Boulevard, and half a mile north of the 90 Freeway)

Admission is free! For more information, visit

Performances and Demonstrations

Saturday, June 22

1:30 p.m.: Gakuen

2 p.m.: Aikido

2:30 p.m.: Judo

3 p.m.: Iaido

3:30 p.m.: Kendo

4 p.m.: Line dance

4:30 p.m.: Karate

5 p.m.: Introduction of queen/scholarship awardees

5:30 p.m.: Taiko

6 p.m.: Ondo

6:30 p.m.: Ondo

7 p.m.: Donut-eating contest

Sunday, June 23

1:30 p.m.: Hula

2 p.m.: Shodo

2:30 p.m.: Ikebana

3 p.m.: Odori

3:30 p.m.: Karate

4 p.m.: Judo

4:30 p.m.: Aikido

5 p.m.: Taiko

5:30 p.m.: Ondo

6 p.m.: Ondo

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