The 11th annual Los Angeles Tanabata Festival drew crowds to Little Tokyo to enjoy entertaining performances and see local showcases among other offerings to visitors.

We were there for the AX cosplay contest, as highlighted in this article, but also explored the event.

All photos in this article were taken by Faith Orcino (@pitangawang on Twitter and Instagram)


Whether or not they entered the contest, several cosplayers arrived in costume despite the heat.


The main showcase of the Tanabata Festival was the special Kazari hung around the area by large stalks of bamboo. Those that stopped by on Saturday were able to vote for their favorite in the people’s choice category of the Kazari competition. Submissions included some made by local businesses and community services.


There were a handful of food stalls and trucks serving Japanese meals but one of the more unique ones was Fujiwara Tofu Cafe. Staying true to Takumi Fujiwara of the hit series “Initial D”, the booth served a variety of tofu snacks and soymilk drinks. Parked next to them was their own Toyota Trueno AE86 that was painted in the same colors with matching decals and license plate.


The duo known as Pumana took the stage and played renditions of Japanese and American songs.


Performers including LA-based Tokushima-Ren and San Francisco’s Sakura-Ren took the stage to show various versions of Awa-Odori dance or fool’s dance. It was most known from Tokushima during its Obon festival. The groups definitely put its audience in a fun mood with their expressive moves. Their finale had everyone under the tent dancing with them.

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