An autumn tradition, the Japanese Garden Festival returns to Descanso Gardens on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 5-6. The weekend celebrates Japanese arts, crafts and culture with activities for the whole family. The Gardens, from the Courtyard to the Japanese Garden, will be decorated with displays of ikebana, the traditional form of Japanese flower arranging. Activities are free with admission, unless noted.
The celebration gets an early start on Friday with a sushi-sake tasting event presented by Patina Restaurant Group in the Courtyard. Enjoy the flavors of Japan and sample delectable sushi prepared by Chef Travis Kamiyami paired with amazing sake. Cost: $75 per person. Reservations required: (818) 790-3663.
Always a crowd favorite, the taiko drummers will perform at noon both Saturday and Sunday in the Under the Oaks Theater.
Yami Yamauchi will create origami on a grand scale at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday. Using an 8-foot square of paper, he will demonstrate the traditional Japanese art of paper folding. Want to try it out yourself? Origami lessons will be offered from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in the Minka. Yamauchi will teach young and old to create beautiful folded paper flowers.
On Sunday, witness a Japanese tea ceremony in the Minka. The ceremony will be performed at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Seating is limited. Order early – this popular event will sell out. Tickets, priced at $10, are on sale at Ticketweb.com.
Admission to Descanso Gardens is $8 general, $6 seniors/students with I.D., $3 children 5 to 12; children 4 and younger free. Descanso Gardens is located at 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011. Information: (818) 949-4200.
About Descanso Gardens: Established as a public garden in 1953, Descanso Gardens is located at 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge, near the interchange of the 2 and 210 freeways. The Gardens are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Christmas Day. Parking is free. Admission fees are $8 for adults; $6 for seniors and students; $3 for children 5 to 12, and free for members and children 4 and younger. For information, call (818) 949-4200 or visit www.descansogardens.org.
Descanso Gardens is accredited by the American Association of Museums.