With Tanabata just around the corner¬†on 7th July, Japanese towns everywhere are about to burst into life to celebrate.¬†Here at Japan Centre we wish we could be in Japan, strolling around the local Tanabata Festival in our light and airy yutaka, writing wishes on tanzaku and sampling some sumptuous festival food that the Japanese do oh so well. But, alas, we are stuck here! So we’re going to do the next best thing and cook up some of our own wonderful Japanese yatai stall-inspired festival street food.

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Tanabata is an important Japanese festival held on the 7th day of the 7th month and represents the legend of Orihime and Hikoboshi, the names of two stars (Vega & Altair) portrayed as lovers who only have a chance to meet once a year.
As with many Japanese festivals, there are lots of traditional customs for Tanabata. The most popular is the custom of writing one’s wishes onto a small strip of paper and then hanging them on a piece of bamboo. The bamboo is then set afloat down a river so that the wishes can be taken away and hopefully come true.
Of course, like other Japanese festivals, tanabata is a great way to celebrate with friends and family and eat some popular Japanese festival foods. During Japanese festivals, the streets are alive with small stalls selling everything from dango mochi balls to takoyaki octopus balls and all number of snacks in between! We know that not everyone can be in Japan during the tanabata festival so instead, Japan Centre has four of the top Japanese festival foods to introduce to you along with some easy to follow recipes so you can make these great tasting dishes at home.