SACRAMENTO – The Buddhist Church of Sacramento’s Japanese Culture and Food Festival is a summertime tradition in Northern California. This annual event is on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 13-14, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. both days.

Enjoy delicious Japanese dishes, prepared right before your eyes. There will be everything from fresh fish-topped sushi, to succulent teriyaki chicken, teriyaki beef sandwiches and more. There is something for everyone at the 70th annual Sacramento Buddhist Church Bazaar.

You can see fabulous performances by Japanese folk dancers and singers, listen to the mighty drummers of taiko groups, and experience Japanese folk dancers and musicians, among other cultural entertainment, exhibits and demonstrations. Children’s games are a must for the little ones, and there are homemade desserts, both Japanese sweets and good old American cupcakes, cookies, pies and cakes.

Menu items include:

Rice dishes — Nigiri-zushi, inari-zushi, maki-zushi, onigiri

Main dishes — Teriyaki chicken, teriyaki beef sticks, teriyaki beef sandwich, tempura, curry beef over rice, korokke

Noodles — Udon, somen

Sweets — Mochi, peanut butter mochi, anpan

After World War II, Japanese Americans and immigrants had to rebuild their homes, lives and communities after returning to the Sacramento area from their forced incarceration in concentration camps in the most desolate parts of the country. In 1947, the Japanese Bazaar began as a festive, social event for the Sacramento Japanese residents celebrating food and friendship.

The bazaar is a major fundraiser for the Buddhist Church of Sacramento. It supports the many affiliated organizations such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, youth sports programs, the Japanese language school, and adult and senior organizations.

The church is located at 2401 Riverside Blvd. Admission is free and there is free parking under the freeway with a shuttle bus directly to the church grounds.

For more information, call (916) 446-0121 or visit

Bazaar by the Numbers

• Over 2.5 tons or 5,500 pounds of short-grain rice are used. About 1,500 pounds are cleaned, cooked and consumed in traditional Japanese cuisine, and the balance is used for game prizes.

• 3.75 tons or 7,500 pounds of chicken are prepared for teriyaki chicken, using two pallets of charcoal for grilling this favorite dish.

• 2 tons or 4,000 pounds of beef are prepared for teriyaki beef sticks and teriyaki beef sandwiches.

• 1,600 pounds of sugar and 100 pounds of salt are used for the various Japanese dishes.

• 6 tons or 12,000 pounds of ice are used to keep the sushi fish fresh, to make refreshing snow cones, and for drinks.

• 500 pounds of shrimp are prepared for tempura and sushi.

• 500 pounds of noodles are boiled for udon hot noodles and somen cold noodle dishes.

• 100 gallons of soy sauce are used in authentic Japanese marinades, broths and other dishes.

• Over 15,000 canned and bottled beverages, including soda, water, beer, sake, tea, coffee and fruit drinks, are purchased.

• More than 750 church members and friends volunteer to make the bazaar run as smoothly as a well-oiled machine.

• Estimated attendance for the two-day event is between 25,000 and 35,000 people.

Entertainment Schedule

Saturday, Aug. 13

11 a.m.: Koyasan Spirit of Children Taiko (Outdoor Stage)

12 p.m.: Japanese Folk dance and music by Hokka Minyo Tanoshimi Kai (Main Chapel)

1 p.m.: Japanese folk dance and music by Sakura Minyo Doo Koo Kai (Outdoor Stage)

2 p.m.: Koto concert by Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto (Main Chapel)

4 p.m.: Introduction to Buddhism by Rinban Bob Oshita (Main Chapel)

4:30 to 6:30 p.m.: East Wind Band (Outdoor Stage)

Sunday, Aug. 14

11 a.m.: Na Aikane Ukulele Group (Outdoor Stage)

12 p.m.: Hokka Minyo Tanoshimi Kai (Main Chapel)

1 p.m.: Sakura Minyo Doo Koo Kai (Outdoor Stage)

2 p.m.: Okinawan music and dance by Azama Honryu Ichisenkai USA (Main Chapel)

3 p.m.: Sacramento Taiko Dan (Outdoor Stage)

4 p.m.: Introduction to Buddhism by Rev. Dennis Fujimoto (Main Chapel)

Cultural displays throughout the weekend: Ikebana in Kaikan/indoor eating area, shuji (calligraphy) and Mataro kimekomi (handmade dolls) in Main Chapel, back room).

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