ST. LOUIS — It’s a Labor Day weekend tradition at the Missouri Botanical Garden, The Japanese Festival celebrates a long-standing and meaningful partnership. 

“We love working with the Missouri Botanical Garden. Is a great partnership. Committee, volunteers that work together, work with the garden. And we try to put on a great festival for the public here in St. Louis,” said Mike Kimzey of the Japan America Society of St. Louis, organizer of the event. 

The 46th annual Japanese Festival is set with the 14-acre Japanese Garden, the largest in North America, as its backdrop. It has a special history. 

“Japanese Americans that were released from the camps and embraced here in St. Louis,” Kimzey said. 

“There are performances, there are martial arts, dancing, and drumming. There’s lots of great food to eat. There’s something for everyone,” said Catherine Martin of the Missouri Botanical Garden. 

The celebration runs from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday. You’ll see your favorite exhibits return as well as some new features. 

“Everyone loves the martial arts demonstrations. Sumo wrestling is a favorite for everybody. We will have a magician this year. He’s a magician and storyteller. He does origami, and he tells a story through his art. We’re really excited to have him this year,” Martin said. 

Organizers are very excited to have your family experience and learn about the Japanese culture. 

“It’s a big world and Japan’s part of it. And I think the people of Japan and Japanese Americans are proud of their history. And what they’ve been able to accomplish is try to bring a part of their homeland here to the Midwest,” said Kimzey.