Drawing Contest – Japanese Consulate

Just to let everyone know, the Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta is hosting a drawing contest for students K-12th grade. The deadline is December 19 and is open to students who reside in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

Below is the flyer from their website at www.atlanta.us.emb-japan.go.jp/2014_DrawingContest.html.Go here for more information and to download the entry form.


Bishops Coffee & Tea – Atlanta

IMG_3646Nestled in the heart of Midtown, Bishop’s Coffee and Tea offers gourmet, environmentally friendly tea. How can coffee be environmentall friendly? According to the owner, Bishop who served us, she uses an electric roaster which leaves less of a carbon footprint.

The store, which has only been open 7 months is rather hard to find. It’s located on the backside of a strip shopping center at the intersection of Piedmont and Monroe. From there, it’s tucked in an alcove next to Varuni Napoli Pizza. Entering a small couryard with outside seating, the entrance is reminiscent of New Orleans.

Inside, the smell of fresh coffee greeted us. Bishop, who also owns two locations along the Florida panhandle, was on site this day. We purchased coffee, tea and one of her signature desserts.

It’s definitely a welcome additional to the neighborhood. Also, tea and coffee can be purchased directly from her website – www.bishopscoffeeandtea.com.




Atlanta Greek Festival – 2014

Don’t miss one of Atlanta’s best events. The Greek Festival is this weekend, October 9-12 at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral on Clairmont Road. Tickets are $5 per adult and free for children 12 and under.

Tip #1: Don’t even try to park at the festival. Instead, go to the Century Center parking lot and take the shuttle bus. They run every few minutes and it is only a five-minute shuttle ride to the event.

Tip #2: Come hungry. Souvlaki. Pastitio. Moussaka. These traditional Greek dishes, and many more will be for sale. Also, you need to try the Greek pastries made by members of the congregation.

For more information, see their website at www.atlantagreekfestival.org.


Japanfest 2014

Welcome to Japanfest

Welcome to Japanfest

One of my daughters is taking Japanese in middle school this year. Although we’d been before, she wanted to make the trek up to Gwinnett Center to attend this year’s Japanfest the weekend of September 20. This was made more appealing by the two free tickets her teacher gave us.

My favorite performance of the two-day event is Matsurizo Taiko, a professional ensemble of Japanese drummers that regularly perform at Epcot. As we made our way to the auditorium, the usher said,”I’m sorry. It’s too crowded for you to enter.” No, this can’t be happening, I thought to myself. We still had a few minutes before the show was to start. However as more people came behind us and expressed disapointment, he shrugged his shoulders and let everybody in. “You have to stand up and there’s no security,” he warned. Inside the dark auditorium, we could feel (before we could hear), the constant boom, boom.boom of the large drums. Despite not having seats, the performance was captivating as the 14 men and women kept us entertained.

Matsurizo Taiko

Matsurizo Taiko

Afterwards, we went to find food. This year, two vendors were outside. We chose the Yakitori chicken skewers from Nakato. As we waited, we watched the restaurant workers grill the chicken already on skewers. Finally, they were ready and tasted great – chicken with some sort of teriyaki sauce – but better. As we wanted more food, we found the main dining area with lots of choices. Since my daughter loves fried rice, we went to Kani House and had fried rice, spring rolls and water. Afterwards, we stopped at Jolie-Kobie bakery for a white chocolate and cranberry cookie, which was worth every single bite.



Perusing the many vendor booths, we saw these beautiful women dressed in beautiful Japanese clothing advertising Okinawa. “I remember about learning about that place in school,” my daughter said. We stopped and took their picture. Then she saw several vendors selling Pokemon plush toys. After purchasing one from her allowance money, she and I walked around the rest of the exhibition space.

My daughter’s favorite exhibit was the theatre dedicated to Japanese cartoons and film. We watched half of an episode of some Pokemon-type cartoon with English subtitles before heading over to the bonsai tree exhibit and my favorite – Ikebana, Japanese floral arrangements. Along the way, we stopped in several ballrooms and watched martial arts performances and an elementary school drumming performance. I’d forgotten how fun this festival can be. More info can be found at https://japanfest.org.



Ikebana floral arrangements