Children’s Day celebration at Yume Japanese Gardens


“Japanese parents so cherish their sons and daughters that in 1948 they set aside the fifth day of every May as a national holiday to celebrate the health and happiness of their youngsters. Children of all ages and persuasions in Tucson will follow suit on Saturday, May 6, at the fourth annual Children’s Day Festival at Yume Japanese Gardens, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson opened in January 2013 as Southern Arizona’s only authentic Japanese gardens. Each May since, the non-profit has attracted hundreds to its Children’s Day Festival, with traditional Japanese wooden toys, goldfish netting, yukata (summer-weight kimonos) for youngsters to wear, and handicrafts, such as origami (paper folding).

New activities this year include showing children how to make bento: box-shaped containers that are universal in Japan for carrying home-packed meals to school or work. Bento kits, assembly lessons, chopsticks, and rice and other food for the boxes will be for sale for $15.

Additionally, a flamboyantly dressed role-player – personified by Lani Chan (aka Lani Villanueva) – will entertain children as the singing and dancing Miku Hatsune, an anime character and virtual pop star famous in Japan as a “vocaloid,” or humanoid persona voiced by a singing synthesizer application.

Admission to the Festival costs $10 for adults and $3 for children fifteen and under. To fight early summer temperatures, visitors can purchase traditional Japanese foods, such as cold noodles and shaved, flavored ices.

Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson are located at 2130 Alvernon Way, immediately south of the Tucson Botanical Gardens and are open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. It showcases five traditional Japanese garden designs, a large koi pond, a replica traditional Japanese house, and a museum currently featuring an exhibition of classical and contemporary hand-painted Japanese hanging scrolls.”

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For more information on the Children’s Day Festival or the Gardens, call (520) 272-3200, write or visit the Gardens website at

Yume Japanese Gardens closes for the summer (May 7 to October 1, 2017).

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Carolyn Classen
Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, (since Jan. 2013).