TANABATA: Celebrate the Japanese Star Festival at Kew Gardens

Date and time: 10.30am – 3.30pm, Wednesday 7 & Thursday 8 August 2019
Place: Bamboo Garden and Minka House, Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB
Entry fee: Standard Kew admission fee. No booking required – just turn up on the day!

Tanabata is a Japanese festival that celebrates the coming together of two stars, Orihime and Hikoboshi, who are in love but can only meet once a year, on the 7th day of the 7th month. In collaboration with The Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, the Embassy of Japan, and the Japan Society welcome all visitors to discover the story of Tanabata with us and to take part in the tradition of writing their wish on traditional tanzaku strips and hanging them from the bamboo, to mark this much loved summer festival.

There will be plenty to keep the whole family entertained with calligraphy workshops, origami, and traditional Japanese toys and games. Or why not follow the Tanabata Treasure Trail: hunting for clues to discover the story of Orihime and Hikoboshi. We shall also be joined by A Thousand Cranes who will reveal the fascinating story of Tanabata through kamishibai (Japanese storyboard theatre) performances in the historical minka house.



The Royal Botanical Gardens has one of the largest collections of bamboo in the UK, with approximately 1,200 bamboo species, surrounding a Minka Japanese farmhouse. Bamboo expert and Arboretum Manager at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Ray Townsend will be giving tours of the bamboo garden through the day; many of which he collected himself on expeditions to Japan. Come and discover the unknown stories behind this wonderful collection of bamboo!
The full programme will be announced soon. For further information, please call the Japan Society office on 020 3075 1996 or email events@japansociety.org.uk.

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