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Santa Fe (Japanese Style)

One of the many things I love about Santa Fe is its cultural diversity. Throughout the year, I am able to celebrate this diversity by attending special events, participating in classes and (best of all) partaking of creative cuisine. Join me as I walk you through how this week will unfold for me.

One of the Museum of International Folk Art’s current exhibits is Tako Kichi: Kite Crazy in Japan. This week, I plan to attend one of the artists’ demonstrations on this unique art form of hand-made washi paper stretched onto a split bamboo framework and painted brightly with narrative illustrations and legendary heroes. These kites are really impressive and the size on some of them …. Wow! You must come and see them. On Sunday, if the weather permits, they will be flying the kites on Milner plaza, outside of the museum, between 1pm-4pm. Did you know that museum admission is always free on Sunday for New Mexico residents? It’s just another plus for living in this beautiful state.

I’ll definitely want to refresh myself and have something healthy after a day at museum hill. Normally I would enjoy Museum Hill Cafe, but in keeping with the week’s celebration of all things Japanese, I’ll head downtown to my favorite Japanese restaurant, Shohko Café. Shohko and Hiro Fukuda have owned and operated this wonderful place since 1975. I have shared their dinner menu and sushi menu here to entice you. Please try the green chile tempura as it’s a unique local twist on a traditional dish. Their menu abounds in organic and all-natural ingredients and is such a healthy way to end the day.

Should you be downtown at Shohko on Saturday; you will be just two blocks from the Santa Fe Community Convention Center. Stop in from 10am – 5:00pm and experience Matsuri 2014. The admission is $3.00 for those over 12. I’m really looking forward to the 10th anniversary of the Japanese Cultural Festival. There is the Tea ceremony at 11:00am that I want to see and compare to a traditional ceremony I have attended before. Also, high on my list are the various forms of music and dancing that will surely be a splendid display of color and high energy. For those who have an interest in the martial arts, take time to watch some Aikido, Japanese Archery, and Kenpo Karate techniques in the afternoon. It’s a very special time to share in a community of Santa Fe that you might not have another chance to see until next year.

So, I end this post by sharing my previous blog post on my favorite Japanese spa in Santa Fe, Ten Thousand Waves and their new Japanese Izakaya dining restaurant, Izanami. It’s a must do when in Santa Fe and a perfect end to the perfect day.

It’s going to be a busy week and I’m looking forward to every single part of it.

Safe travels, Deb Swanson

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