Southeast Gakuen sold taiyaki for the first time at the 2013 festival. This year, food will be available for drive-thru pick-up.

NORWALK — Southeast Japanese School and Community Center’s 58th Cultural Festival has become one echoed across Southern California as “virtual festivals.” Some with food pick-ups, some with videos, and some with entertainment.

But none of these can take the place of the pre-COVID festivals where the aroma of freshly grilled teriyaki wafts through the air, the refreshing chill of shaved ice cools a hot afternoon, the drumming of the taiko accompanies the dancers, all mingled with the hustle of family and friends enjoying themselves.

Soon it will be two summers without our beloved and traditional Cultural Festival. Let’s hope that next year we can bring our festival heritage back to life again.

But for now, if you find yourself tired of eating leftovers, tired of fast food, tired of having pizza again, treat yourself and family to SEJSCC’s drive-thru food pick-up.

On Saturday, June 12, from 2 to 4 p.m., we’ll offer delicious bento boxes from Neighborhood Bento, festive mochi/manju from Fugetsu Do, and tasty char siu baos from Hong Kong Bakery.

On Sunday, June 13, from 2 to 4 p.m., we will feature Japanese-style onigiri (rice ball) box from Jichan’s Onigiri-ya and assorted bento boxes from Neighborhood Bento.

A limited amount of food will be available and must be preordered by emailing

Be sure to visit on Sunday, June 13, at 6 p.m. to see the video highlighting our center’s organizations. Then at 7 p.m., watch our raffle drawing featuring cash prizes of (1) $1,000, (2) $500, and (5) $100, Disneyland Park Hopper ticket bundles, and many gift cards. All winners will be notified. You may be among the lucky winners.

Raffle tickets are available for purchase at SEJSCC on Saturday and Sunday, June 12 and 13, from 2 to 4 p.m., or email

We hope you can join us. Good luck to all and thank you for your support!\

SEJSCC is located at 14615 Gridley Rd., Norwalk. For more information, please email us at or visit our website,

For the Record. Merchandise gift cards will not be sold, but gift certificates for Tokyo Central will be sold for $10 each. There will be (5) $100, not (5) $10 cash prizes, as mentioned in the previous article.

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