Japanese festival returns to Uptown

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Thanks to the Japanese, we know there are more sophisticated (and complicated) ways of drinking tea. The culture's tea ceremonies go beyond brewing with extensive procedures for preparing and presenting the popular powdered green tea. The hope is, not only to warm hearts and fill the bladder, but to create a relaxed atmosphere that is also the climate for spiritual growth. This Saturday, during Charlotte's Bon Odori Festival at Well Fargo Atrium, folks can witness the ritual.

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The annual event, in its 29th year, will also feature Japanese food, art, crafts and entertainment. This includes music, dance, martial arts demonstrations and drumming performances throughout the day. Matsuriza, a Florida-based drumming troupe who frequently performs at Disney World's Epcot Center, specializes in the traditional Taiko (Watch the video below for a glimpse at the group's performance during last year's Savannah Asian Festival). Free admission. Aug. 3, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wells Fargo Atrium, 301 S. Tryon St.

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