Taiko and ondo dancing at last year's VJCC Summer Festival. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)
Taiko and ondo dancing at last year’s VJCC Summer Festival. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)


Each year as the seasons change and summer is upon us, so returns the annual Natsu Matsuri or Summer Festival.

Hosted by the Venice Japanese Community Center, the two-day event will be held this weekend and serves as the center’s largest fundraiser. The funds are used to offset operational expenses and to support the variety of cultural, sports and service programs offered to the community.

The Natsu Matsuri features beautiful cultural exhibits such as bonsai and ikebana and exciting martial arts demonstrations like judo, aikido and karate. And, don’t forget to indulge your appetite with our delicious won ton, kalbi beef plates, sushi, boba and the BEST chicken teriyaki around.

Each dish is prepared with our special secret sauce, the Venice love and care that we put into preparing authentic Japanese food. One word I can think of after tasting our dishes is “oishii” or de-li-ci-ous!

The festival has always been about traditional Japanese culture and family values and a place to bring your parents, grandparents and grandchildren. So come on down and enjoy the food, the game booths, the demonstrations, the exhibits and to top it off, participate in ondo dancing nightly.

Dates: Saturday, June 21, 12 to 10 p.m.; Sunday, June 22, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Location: Venice Japanese Community Center, 12448 Braddock Dr., Los Angeles (one block west of Centinela Boulevard, half-mile north of 90 Freeway)

Admission is free.

Demonstration Schedule

Saturday, June 21

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 Dancing

4:30 p.m.: Karate

5 p.m.: Introduction of Miss Western L.A. and scholarship awardees

5:30 p.m.: Taiko

6 p.m.: Ondo

7:30 p.m.: Donut-eating contest

Sunday, June 22

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

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