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sharky

Japanfest 2008 this weekend

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Japanfest is going on this weekend Sept 27 and 28.

From the website:

"JapanFest, now in its 22nd year, is the largest Japanese festival in the Southeast..."

I missed it last year. I am curious to see what all they have. From what I read there will be anime viewing provided by Atlanime

http://www.japanfest.org/

http://www.atlanime.net/

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To be honest, I found the venue to have issues with crowd control and noise control. Musical performances were often drowned out by other performances in other rooms.

Food ran out very early too on Saturday...

I'm still debating whether to go, given the shortage of gas in the area... it's a far trek up to Duluth.

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I ended up going on Sunday around noon. I live about 10 min away from where it was held, so I decided to check it out.

Overall, it was a good event. I think they might have learned from past mistakes because it did seem to be well organized. Perhaps with the local gas shortage many people stayed home. Perhaps Sunday is a less crowded day as well. There was a healthy crowd of people but it wasn't too crowded by any measure. Lots of people in kimonos, a few people in other Japanese costumes. There were plenty of food vendors and some booths had free samples of snacks and drinks. I was there all day for the most part and there wasn't any shortages of food or drinks.

The whole family went and there seemed to be something of interest for everyone even the little ones. I think if they had added in a video game event for the older kids with Japanese import games it probably would have been even better. It was a very nice venue to hold any kind of convention or festival. The martial arts demo was pretty cool. One group was doing choreographed 5 on 1 demos which was well done IMO. Even the younger students were doing flips and other acrobatic style moves that wowed people. It was really an impressive exhibition. The swordsmanship demo was interesting as well. They were slicing and dicing the practice targets pretty well.

They had 2 anime viewing rooms. I wasn't sure if what they were showing would be appropriate for a 5 year old, so I didn't stick around very long. From what I could tell they seemed to be showing some interesting stuff.

There was a Japanese rock band called Sinatra that was good.

http://e.sinatra.jp/profile.htm

They played in another performance hall that was separate from the main venue. There were other music performances in that particular auditorium which minimized the noise from other events. There was a bit of excess noise from the marital arts demo that would bleed over into some of the other areas because it was really one big hall separated by dividers. I think they tried to put the more popular music performances in the nicer auditorium for that reason.

One thing of note that I discovered while I was there was the Japanese book store Books Japan. They are a store in Smyrna and from the website they do magazine subscriptions. Hello, Macross Chronicles? I will find out if they can do the Macross Chronicles subscription and for how much. I want to find out if it's cheaper than getting it from HMV.

Books Japan

2082 Cobb Pkwy SE

Smyrna, GA 30080

booksjapan@gmail.com

http://www.booksjapanatlanta.com/ (this is a Japanese language website)

Mon-Fri 11am-8pm

Sat 10am-8pm

Sun 11am-7pm

phone: 770-951-8272

fax: 770-951-8260

Overall, I would recommend this festival to anyone in the Atlanta area.

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