Last weekend’s Japan Festival at Mukai Farm & Garden drew 1,800 people — 1,000 more than the inaugural festival last year.
“We were thrilled that people came to the only public garden on the island and learned about part of Vashon’s heritage,” Longhi said.
The day’s events stretched from morning until dark and included three taiko drumming performances, demonstrations on how to make mochi, a bonzai lecture, Kabuki dance performances, Bon Odori dance and children’s activities. The festival concluded with a lantern walk at dusk.
Some of the featured events, such as drumming and mochi-making, were repeated throughout the day.
“People could come almost any time and experience and see something wonderful, cultural and artistic,” said Kay Longhi, the president of the Friends of Mukai, which sponsored the festival.
To help with the day, Longhi said the Friends group reached out to Amazon, which has employee volunteers, including an Asian American group, who assisted throughout the event.
The Friends of Mukai have been striving since 2012 to restore the Mukai property for the public good.
In 2016, a judge awarded the property to the Friends, who have made several improvements to the historic home and grounds, including restoring the pond last year and the garden this year.