Obon floating lanterns at Enchanted Evenings at Yume Japanese Gardens from Nov. 12 to 14

Evenings at Yume

Obon Floating Lanterns

November 12-14, 2020 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

“Be bewitched by the glow of lanterns and candlelight and by haunting recorded Japanese folk melodies played on traditional instruments as you stroll Yume’s paths after dark. Purchase at the door a floating lantern and launch it on our koi pond, an Obon offering to honor your departed with radiant memory.”

Yume Japanese Gardens is at 2130 N. Alvernon Way, Tucson

General admission: $16 adults (purchase tickets at either 6:30 p.m. or 7:30 p.m.)

Children under 15: $5

Members: $10


Yume Japanese Gardens re-opening on October 15, with 1000 Cranes, 1000 Dreams exhibit

” Now more than ever a refreshing refuge for Tucsonans seeking harmony, hope and healing.Plan to visit the Gardens to enjoy 1,000 Cranes, 1,000 Dreams, our first exhibition of the new season.Timed admission tickets are required for entry. To purchase your ticket or reserve your spot, visit our website at yumegardens.org

Visitors will sense Yume’s commitment to well-being in the first exhibition of its 2020 Fall/Winter season: 1,000 Cranes, 1,000 Dreams is an outdoor display of 1,000 colorful origami cranes made from folded paper and donated by the people of Tucson.

The exhibition draws on the Japanese tradition of Senbazuru, which holds that those who devote time and effort to make origami cranes see their most heartfelt wishes granted. Cranes will be flying from stone lanterns to stone water basins, perching on boulders and flocking on bamboo gates and fences.”

Yume Japanese Gardens opened in Jan. 2013 and is located at 2130 N. Alvernon Way. They were forced to close in mid-March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This Senbazuru exhibit starts on October 15 and continues to November 15. Community members were asked to start folding these 1000 cranes on May 6, and completed the project by end of June, 2020, during the pandemic.

Tucson Meet Yourself “reframed” with Japanese cultural performances online, and takoyaki food booth in October – updated

Tucson Meet Yourself goes virtual in 2020, with some Japanese performances and food trucks roundup in October

Go to www.tucsonmeetyourself.org for all information

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the annual Tucson Meet Yourself (TMY) festival is online for performances, and as for food, having several food truck roundup weekends. Schedule below for Japanese culture.

October 8 Mari Kaneta & Suzuyuki-kai traditional dance performances at 1 p.m and 3 p.m. (see website Calendar for online links). Updated with links of the performances below.


Mari Kaneta & Suzuyuki-Kai dancers



October 15 Odaiko Sonora taiko drum performances at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. (see website Calendar for online links)

Odaiko Sonora drummers

October 10 & 11 Takoyaki balls food booth/truck at Mercado San Agustin, 125 S. Avenida del Convento (west side), 11 to 5 p.m. take out only

October 17 & 18 Takoyaki balls food booth/truck at Cafe Santa Rosa, 2615 S. 6th Avenue (south), 11 to 5 p.m. take out only

October 24 & 25 Takoyaki balls food booth/truck at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 1145 E. Ft. Lowell Rd. (central), 11 to 5 p.m. take out only

Tomomi Katz on far left, with her helpers at her Takoyaki Balls food booth, photo courtesy of Steven Meckler for Tucson Meet Yourself

Also, new this year is Lit Up: Traditional Artists on Public Walls on Fridays starting Oct. 2nd to Oct. 23 , from dusk 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Three venues will be lit up at the Aloft Hotel, Tucson City Court, Winterhaven Square. UPDATE: two additional building sites added – PICOR and Kent’s Tools. See TMY website for locations.

Participating for Japanese culture are:

Dance Traditions: 
Mari Kaneta,  Japanese traditional dance

Folk Arts Traditions:
Chieko (Chi) Nakano, Origami
Akiko Victorson, Japanese Shodo Calligraphy

Beginning Ohara Ikebana classes at Tucson Botanical Gardens in October (online)

Beginning Ohara Ikebana: 4-Part Series (online) at Tucson Botanical Gardens in October

4-part series: October 15, 22, 29 and Nov. 5

“Create beauty and reduce stress through Ikebana, the ancient Japanese art of arranging flowers in the style most pleasing to the eye. Learn from the Ohara School of Ikebana whose instruction is the result of 600 years of evolving artistic development in Japan. Develop your practice incrementally over four sessions. Price includes a vessel and kenzan available for pick-up at the Gardens, you provide the flowers.

A vessel and kenzan is included in the price of the class. These materials are available for pick-up at Tucson Botanical Gardens. Please contact Katie Rogerson, Director of Education, to make arrangements for pick-up: education1@tucsonbotanical.org or 520-326-9686 ext. *39

You will also need a notebook, bucket, towel, and shears.Sign up for this class 

Online class participants will receive a Zoom link for the live class two hours before the class begins.

All online classes are recorded and participants receive a video replay that is available for two weeks after the date of the class.”

20% TBG Member discount


10:30 to 12:30 p.m. for 4 weeks

Price: $160

Ohara School of Ikebana — JoAnn Hyde

SAJCC Council cancels annual Tucson Japanese Festival for 2021

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition Council decided to cancel the annual Tucson Japanese Festival for 2021. It was tentatively scheduled for January 16, 2021 at the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center, 1288 W. River Rd. which recently announced that it will be closed till the end of 2020, due to the pandemic.

This annual Tucson Japanese Festival is in it’s 8th year, usually held in January to celebrate the New Year. The Tucson Japanese Festival started out as the Tucson Mochitsuki (mochi pounding event) in 2014, held at Yume Japanese Gardens. It was hosted by the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center for the last 2 years, 2019 and 2020, and previously held for three years at Pima Community College Downtown campus.

Any questions about the festival should be emailed to Director Yuki Ibuki at yuki@southernazjapan.org. Check our Facebook page for updates on the SAJCC as well.