Midwest Buddhist Temple Ginza Holiday Festival

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The Midwest Buddhist Temple Ginza Holiday Festival is a large annual Japanese cultural festival that occurs on the second weekend, Friday to Sunday, of August at 435 W. Menomonee Street in Chicago’s historic Old Town, Chicago. The Midwest Buddhist Temple has kept this annual event going since 1955.

Highlighting the event are four master craftsmen (Waza), flown in straight from Tokyo, Japan. For the three days, they demonstrate their generations-old skills creating their unique crafts. The public have the opportunity to meet the Waza and purchase their crafts. Several other exhibits and booths feature other Japanese items, such as Japanese dry goods and snacks, kimonos, jewelry, anime, origami folding, and an abundance of traditional Japanese cuisine, including their famous grilled Chicken Teriyaki dinner, Udon (Japanese cold noodles), sushi, Edamame, and kintoki (Japanese snow cone topped with sweet azuki beans).

Also, featured in the festival are ongoing stage performances with Taiko drumming, Classical and Traditional Japanese dances, martial arts demonstrations, and other entertainment and exhibits.

The temple is open for guests who are interested in observing the place of worship and learning the basics of Buddhism. During stage intermissions, there are short Dharma talks given inside the Temple.