Sacramento’s Largest Japanese Cultural and Food Bazaar Celebrates Its Award-Winning Udon

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SACRAMENTO – The Buddhist Church of Sacramento’s 73rd annual Japanese Culture & Food Bazaar is a summertime tradition in Northern California. This annual event is on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 10-11, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. both days.

Enjoy delicious Japanese dishes, prepared right before your eyes. There will be everything from award-winning udon, fresh poke bowls, succulent teriyaki chicken, teriyaki beef sandwiches, sushi, and more.

The Sacramento News & Review hails Sacramento Buddhist Church’s udon as “Best Handmade Udon” in Sacramento. The brains-behind-the-bowl is Karen Adachi, logging in her cooking expertise with 27 years as chairwoman of this traditional Japanese comfort food.

“A soothing bowl of chewy, slippery noodles bathed in a classic dashi broth.” (Sacramento News & Review, September 2018)

See performances by folk musicians, dancers and singers. You can hear the heart-pounding taiko drum concerts and other cultural entertainment. There are ongoing exhibits featuring handmade doll demonstrations, calligraphy, and flower arrangements.

On Saturday evening, The East Wind Band — Northern California’s premier funk, soul, R&B, and classic rock band — performs. They have opened for Earth, Wind and Fire, Tower of Power, Hiroshima, Average White Band and other big-name entertainers.

Children’s games are a must-play for the little ones, and there are homemade Japanese sweets and good ole American cookies, pies and cakes.

On Feb. 19, 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt’s signed Executive Order 9066, which ordered Japanese Americans into forced evacuation to concentration camps. After WWII, Japanese Americans and immigrants had to rebuild their homes, lives and communities after returning to the Sacramento area. In 1947, the Japanese Bazaar began as a festive, social event for the Sacramento Japanese residents celebrating food and friendship.

The bazaar, a major fundraiser for the Buddhist Church of Sacramento, supports the many affiliated organizations such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, youth sports programs, the Japanese language school, and other youth and senior organizations.

It is free admission and free parking under the freeway, at 8th and W Streets with free, multiple convenient shuttle buses that go directly to the Bazaar grounds every few minutes.

For more information, call (916) 446-0121 or visit www.buddhistchurch.com.

Japanese Bazaar by the Numbers

• Rice! We love rice! Over two tons, or 4,700 pounds of short-grain rice are used. About 2,500 pounds are cleaned, cooked and consumed in traditional Japanese cuisine, and the balance is used for game prizes.

• 3-¾ tons, or 7,500 pounds of chicken are prepared for teriyaki chicken, using two pallets of charcoal.

• Two tons, or 4,000 pounds of beef are prepared for teriyaki beef sandwiches and other dishes.

• The Buddhist Church of Sacramento is sweet! 1,600 pounds of sugar and 100 pounds of salt are used for the various Japanese dishes prepared for the two-day event.

• Seven tons, or 14,000 pounds of ice are used to keep the poke fish fresh, make refreshing snow cones, and to put in drinks.

• 500 pounds of shrimp are prepared for tempura.

• 500 pounds of noodles are boiled for udon (hot noodles) and somen (cold noodles).

• 100 gallons of soy sauce are used in homemade Japanese marinades, broths and other dishes.

• Over 15,000 canned and bottled beverages, including soda, water, sake, tea, coffee and fruit drinks, will be served.

• More than 750 church members and friends volunteer to make the bazaar run as smoothly as a well-oiled machine.

• Estimated attendance for the two-day event is 25,000 to 35,000 people.

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