Help Roll New Zealand's Longest Sushi

1 July 2009

Chill out to the sound of Japanese classical music, take the children to see Japan's famous Clown Loto or take part in a sushi rolling competition at next month's inaugural Japan Festival of Wellington.

The week-long Japanese-themed event, organised by Wellington City Council, the Embassy of Japan and the Asia New Zealand Foundation, runs from Monday 6 July to Saturday 11 July.

The highlight of the festival is the Japanese Festival Day at the Town Hall on Saturday 11 July. Enjoy a spectacular celebration of Japanese culture with fabulous food stalls, crafts and entertainment, including taiko drumming, the acrobatic antics of Clown LOTO, Japanese puppeteers Dalmamori and Eriko, leading Japanese classical musicians and a Japanese street dance group.

You can relax in the tranquil ambience of the age-old Japanese tea ceremony, learn how to roll delicious sushi and take part in a competition to roll New Zealand's longest sushi, or try your hand at writing a haiku poem. If you are confident with your Japanese language skills, you can wander next door to the Ilott Theatre to take part in a Japanese language competition.

Mayor Kerry Prendergast says the festival celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Japan Society of Wellington and the 15th anniversary of the sister-city relationship between Wellington and Sakai.

"Japan is home to an amazing and unique culture and the festival gives Wellingtonians a chance to sample that culture. We will be treated to a fantastic array of performances and displays and some unique food. I hope the festival becomes a regular event in the city."

Other features of the festival are the Friend to Friend exhibition at the Wellington Convention Centre and a Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce business breakfast.

For more information, visit the Featured Events section or the Asia New Zealand Foundation's website.