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Shaping Pottery

Hands-on Experiences

Enjoy various hands-on experiences in the workshop room and throughout the venue. (Subject to change)

Bonsai Ikeban


Learn about the living art of Bonsai! Unlike other forms of art, it undergoes several changes in form and style throughout its life. There are masterpieces from hundreds of years ago that are still circulating both in and outside of Japan. With this workshop, you can learn about Bonsai and have a chance to create your very own Bonsai. Make Your Own Bonsai" workshop to start your own tree and learn the fundamentals of how to care for your tree. The workshop requires on-site registration and payment, and space is limited. First come, first served.

Trimming Bonsai Tree


The stringed Shamisen is one of the traditional musical instruments of Japan.  Compared with the koto, a traditional instrument with a history of 1,300 years, the Shamisen is only about 500 years old. Its appeal lies, more than anything, in its versatility in musical expressions. The sound of Shamisen is loud, sharp, and percussive, allowing it to dominate ensembles ranging from traditional instruments and vocals to rock bands. You will learn how to play a simple tune with Shamisen at our workshop.



Karate is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu Kingdom, centered on what is now Okinawa. Karate is now predominantly a striking art using punches, kicks, knee strikes, elbow strikes, and open-hand techniques such as knife-hands, spear hands, and palm-heel strikes. A trained karate practitioner can meld the mind and body perfectly, allowing tremendous physical power to unleash at will.

Practicing Karate

Classical Japanese Dances

Nihonbuyo is a Japanese classical dance based on the techniques of Kabuki. Its main characteristic is that it developed from the male-only Kabuki theater and incorporated female performers' dances. In modern Japan, Nihonbuyo became independent from Kabuki, with its own refinements. At the JapanFest workshop, you will learn the basic posture and moves of Nihonbuyo.

Girl in Traditional Japanese Kimono

Amezaiku - Eatable Candy Art

Amezaiku (Candy craft) is a tradition,  Japanese art in which intricate, edible sculptures are created from Mizuame, a liquid sweetener made from starch and similar to corn syrup. Amezaiku is highly skilled work. Given the molten heat of the materials and the speed of production necessitated by cooling, artists require years of extensive training before serving customers. The art of Amezaiku was traditionally passed down through the generations in a master/apprentice model without any official instruction or literature. Attendees at the Amezaiku workshop will learn to craft Mizuame into a fun, artistic form.

Japanese Candy Art


Ikebana, also known as Kado, is a traditional Japanese flower arrangement, with seasonal elements chosen to be symbolic of a theme or with colors to complement a room's decoration.

You will gain the knowledge of Japanese flower arrangements and  create your masterpiece to take home with you.  Sponsored bythe consulate of Japan in Georgia 

Image by Anna Cicognani


Kendo (“way of the sword”), a traditional Japanese style of fencing with a two-handed wooden swords is derived from the fighting methods of the ancient samurai (warrior class). The unification of Japan in about 1600 removed most opportunities for actual sword combat, so the samurai turned swordsmanship into a means of cultivating discipline, patience and skill for building character. Practice with armor and the shinai, a sword made of bamboo, allows realistic fencing without risk of injury. 

Image by B Vi

​Pottery painting

Japan is home to one of the world's most vibrant ceramic and pottery cultures. There are over 50 famous pottery towns and districts across Japan, each with characteristics and differences in the clay, glaze and firing method. Arita, Kutani, Shigaraki, Raku and Bizen to name a few. Immerse yourself in their color and design. Learn about the sophisticated art of Japanese ceramics and create your  work. 

Painting Pottery

Tea Ceremony

The Japanese tea ceremony is preparing, serving, and drinking tea in a ritualistic way where it is used to promote well-being, mindfulness, and harmony. The tea itself is a powdered green tea called matcha. The purpose of the tea ceremony is to create bonding between the host and guest and gain inner peace. The tea ceremony used to be practiced only by the elite Zen monks and noble warlords, but at JapanFest you can learn it.

Image by Roméo A.


Zazen is considered the heart of Japanese Soto Zen Buddhist practice. You just sit, suspending all judgemental thinking and letting words, ideas, images, and thoughts pass by without getting involved in them. Join us in the quiet, tranquil Zazen room, sit quietly, and banish the things that  drag you down from your mind.

Sitting Meditation Zazen
Shmisen Kendo
Karate Pottery paintng
Dance Tea

JapanFest Supported By

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Baar Media
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Gwinnett Creativity Fund
Explore Gwinnett
Georgia Council for the Arts
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WSB Family 2 Family
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