Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya and the Japanese Culture Center (JCC) will host the
second annual "Kizuki Chicago Japanese Matsuri" from Friday, September 20 through Sunday, September 22. After a positive public reception during their inaugural year in 2018, the Japanese Matsuri will be twice as big and extended to 3 days.
Held in NEWCITY Plaza in the heart of Lincoln Park near Kizuki's second Chicago restaurant, the 100,000 square foot indoor and outdoor festival will celebrate Japanese culture with authentic food, drink, performances and over 30 vendors. Confirmed sponsors include Rishi Tea, Royce's Chocolates, EVA Air, Suntory, Uniqlo, Shiseido, Tanduay Rum and Kirin Ichiban beer.
"Due to popular demand and an expected attendance of over 10,000 people, we have doubled the space for the 2019 Matsuri. We will not only have outdoor space but the event will extend indoors within NEWCITY which will include the former Z Gallerie space as well as a 3,000 square-foot second floor space," stated festival organizer and Kizuki chef/owner Kevin Yu.
The former Z Gallerie space will be renamed "Drink World" and filled with beverage vendors including sake from a variety of breweries like Rihaku, Imada, Shiokawa and Mioya. Additional drink options will include select Japanese beers like Kirin Ichiban, Japanese whisky from Suntory Whisky, Filipino rum from Tanduay Rum, Japanese shochu from Mesh and Bone, Rishi Tea, soda, iced tea, water and more. Local Chicago brewing company Forbidden Root will showcase an exclusive Matsuri brew created specifically for the event. The second floor space will house a "Retail World" featuring 20 different sections with a variety of local Japanese retailers including Uniqlo, Kinokuniya, Shiseido and more.
The Kizuki Chicago Japanese Matsuri will offer free admission as well as food and drink tickets for purchase.100-percent of the profit from food and drink sales will benefit the JCC and Japanese Arts Foundation (JAF). The donations will be used for the redevelopment and expansion of the JCC's Lakeview facility. The JCC hopes to add a gallery, performance space, artist residences, studies programs, public programs and classes and more.
All of the food at the festival will be provided by Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya. Authentic Japanese food created by festival organizer and chef/owner Kevin Yu and his team will include the following:
- Chicken Karaage on a Stick (Japanese fried chicken on a stick with spicy mayo sauce and seaweed powder)
- Takoyaki on a Stick (Japanese octopus dumpling on a stick with seaweed powder with Japanese mayo and okonomiyaki sauce)
- Potato Croquette (Japanese fried potato cake)
- Gyoza (Japanese potstickers)
- Pork Chashu Don (slow cooked Japanese pork over rice)
- Gyudon (slow cooked Japanese beef over rice)
- Japanese Chicken Wings (Japanese-style chicken wings with honey lemon dressing or Tokyo buffalo sauce)
- Hiyashi Chuka (Japanese-style chill noodle with sesame dressing)
- Edamame (Japanese soy bean)
- Spinach Gomae (Japanese-style chill spinach with sesame sauce)
- And more...
Confirmed festival performances and activities organized by the Japanese Culture Center will include large scale Shodo (Japanese Calligraphy), Aikido (Japanese martial art), large scale Japanese ink painting demonstrations, a Japanese street fashion show, Cosplay Competition, Iaido (Japanese swordsmanship), Shubukai Japanese dance performances, Itasha car displays and more. To close out the night, the festival will also feature entertainment from local DJs and BATSU! (Japanese comedy act) from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. each evening.
New for 2019, Kizuki will host ramen tours at the restaurant on Saturday and Sunday. The tours will be held on the hour and guests will get a tour of the shop, learn the history of ramen and create their own ramen creation with unlimited toppings for $20 per person.
To gear up for the event, Kizuki has partnered with Do312 for a $50 festival food and drink ticket giveaway. Patrons can enter at http://do312.com/chicagomatsuri.
WHEN: Friday, September 20: 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday, September 21: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday, September 22: 11a.m. to 5 p.m.
WHERE: NEWCITY Plaza
1457 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60642
Garage parking available
COST: Food and Drink Tickets:
- $10: 5 ticket and $20: 11 tickets