10 Year Matsuri10 Year Matsuri on August 6, 2022 at Umami Mart

On a cloudy Saturday morning in August, all of our favorite collaborators converged to set up for our 10 Year Matsuri. This is a tradition, one decade strong, where Kayoko and I populate the back parking lot with food, drink, and entertainment. This year, Matsuri was extra special because we hadn't held one since 2019, due to the pandemic. So we wanted to be back and better than ever for our ten year!

10 Year MatsuriSet up started promptly at 9am

10 Year MatsuriOur tent set up crew cleaning the interiors

There are so many things that could go awry when executing an event like this. We usually start preparing about three months in advance, at which point we asked ourselves: What if there's another surge? What if there's smoke in the air? Are people ready for a big event like this?

10 Year MatsuriDJ Wooly Mar at sound check

This year, we decided to bite the bullet despite all the unknowns. And we are so happy that we did. The event was a success because there were no hitches, but more importantly y'all showed up – and for that we thank you! Kayoko and I guess that throughout the day about 300 people came to celebrate our tenth birthday. The sun even showed up right on time around 12:30pm when we broke the kagamiwari (sake cask) full of our exclusive Extreme Junmai 90 brewed by Den Sake Brewery in West Oakland.

10 Year Matsuri

Celebrating ten years is reason enough to come out to party, but we know that the real reason most came out was for the Aburaya chicken sandwich (a huge sandwich at such a steal for just $11).

10 Year MatsuriAdachi and his crew cranking out the chicken sandwiches

10 Year Matsuri

And the kakigori (shaved ice) from Kuramoto Ice based in LA, who imports their ice and machines from Japan, was definitely a great reason to visit our Matsuri.

10 Year MatsuriKakigori and fluffy as powdered snow.

10 Year Matsuri

10 Year MatsuriOne of the first partygoers to get kakigori

10 Year MatsuriKuramoto Ice served a yuzu and berry version. Which was your favorite?

Kayoko and I splurged and set up two tents this year in the parking lot. One for all ages and the other for 21+. The 21+ tent was hopping!

10 Year MatsuriAntonio kept things safe and fun at the 21+ tent

10 Year MatsuriKevin Diedrich from Pacific Cocktail Haven in SF. We were so lucky to have him shaking shochu cocktails!

10 Year Matsuri

People could enjoy cocktails made by Pacific Cocktail Haven with Iichiko Saiten Shochu, or get fresh sake and beer from our tent. The Extreme Junmai 90 out of the cask was the most popular.

10 Year MatsuriI poured Extreme Junmai 90 out of the sake cask

10 Year MatsuriDJ Jody Stillwater spun the tunes for the first half of matsuri

Matsuri every year can go head to head with the Westminster Dog Show. Contestants of all shapes and sizes enjoy celebrating Japanese drinks and drinkware. 

10 Year MatsuriI love you

10 Year MatsuriBest family photo!

10 Year Matsuri

10 Year MatsuriYoshi and Yuuki of Den Sake Brewery

By 1:30pm the crowd swelled with chicken sandwich and kakigori enthusiasts.

10 Year Matsuri

10 Year Matsuri

10 Year Matsuri

10 Year MatsuriDJ Wooly Mar and Kayoko getting some air!

Meanwhile in the shop, things were bustling. 

10 Year Matsuri

10 Year Matsuri

10 Year Matsuri

At 2pm, Emeryville Taiko performed their thunderous set. It's always a joy to bring the sounds of taiko to the community. I could even see people waiting for their cars to get washed across the street enjoying the spectacle.

10 Year Matsuri

10 Year Matsuri

10 Year Matsuri

At the end of the set, the troop invited the audience to participate. This activity is always adorable with the young and old banging on big taiko.

10 Year Matsuri

10 Year Matsuri

At 3pm, DJ Wooly mar took over the turntables. 

10 Year Matsuri

Kayoko and I are so fortunate to have so many regulars who have stuck with us through this past decade. We've seen customers change careers, grow their families, or move away and come back a few years later. 

10 Year Matsuri

10 Year Matsuri

10 Year Matsuri

10 Year Matsuri

And we continue to grow the family of regulars since moving to our new location.

10 Year Matsuri

10 Year Matsuri

10 Year Matsuri

Where will we all be in another ten years?! My bet is that we'll still be partying in this parking lot on a sunny summer day in August.

10 Year Matsuri

Kayoko and I could not do this without our enthusiastic staff and cast of volunteers who helped make this event fun and safe.

10 Year Matsuri

Column: Event Recap
Tags:

Comments

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published