71st Annual Japanese Food and Cultural Bazaar
Two-Day Festival - 8/12 and 8/13

External Event

The Buddhist Church of Sacramento’s Japanese Culture & Food Festival is a summertime tradition in Northern California.  This annual event is on Saturday and Sunday, August 12 & 13, 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. both days.

Enjoy delicious, Japanese dishes, prepared right before your eyes.  There will be everything from fresh fish-topped sushi, to our succulent teriyaki chicken, teriyaki beef sandwiches, Japanese pastries and more.  There is something for everyone at this year’s 71st annual Sacramento Buddhist Church Bazaar.  It is free admission and free parking under the freeway, with a free, convenient shuttle bus that goes directly to the Bazaar grounds every few minutes.

You can see fabulous performances by Japanese folk musicians, dancers and singers; hear thundering taiko drums; and experience Japanese musicians among other cultural entertainment. There will be ongoing-exhibits featuring bonsai or miniature tree exhibits, mataro kimekomi doll making demos, Japanese calligraphy, ikebana or flower arrangements and other demonstrations.

On Saturday evening, The East Wind Band performs, and is Northern California’s premier funk, soul, R&B, and classic rock band.  They have opened for Earth, Wind and Fire, Tower of Power, Hiroshima, Average White Band and other big-name entertainers.

Children’s games and prizes are a must for the little ones, and there are home-made desserts, both Japanese sweets and good ole American cookies, pies and cakes.

The Bazaar is a major fundraiser for the Buddhist Church of Sacramento.  This event supports the many affiliated organizations such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, youth sports programs, the Japanese language school, and youth and senior organizations. 


After WW II, Japanese Americans and immigrants had to rebuild their homes, lives and communities after returning to the Sacramento area from their forced evacuation to concentration camps.  In 1947, the Japanese Bazaar began as a festive, social event for the Sacramento Japanese residents celebrating food and friendship.

Fun Facts

  • Rice!  We love rice!  Over two-and-a-half tons, or 5,500 pounds of short-grain rice are used.  About 1,500 pounds are cleaned, cooked and consumed in traditional Japanese cuisine, and the balance is used for game prizes.
  • 3-3/4 tons, or 7,500 pounds of chicken are prepared for teriyaki chicken, grilled using two pallets of charcoal.
  • Two tons, or 4,000 pounds of beef are prepared for our world-famous teriyaki beef sandwiches and other dishes
  • The Sacramento Buddhist Church is sweet!  1,600 pounds of sugar, and 100 pounds of salt are used for the various Japanese dishes prepared for the two-day event.
  • Six tons, or 12,000 pounds of ice are used to keep the sushi fish fresh, make refreshing snow cones and ice is also used for drinks.
  •  500 pounds of shrimp are prepared for tempura and sushi.
  •   500 pounds of noodles are boiled for udon hot noodles and somen cold noodle dishes.
  • 100 gallons of soy sauce are used in authentic Japanese marinades, broths and other dishes.
  • We purchase over 15,000 canned and bottled beverages, including soda, water, beer, sake, tea, coffee and fruit drinks. 
  • More than 750 church members and friends volunteer to make the Bazaar run as smooth as a well-oiled machine.
  • Estimated attendance for the two-day event is between 25,000 – 35,000 people.

Eat Japanese Food!

Rice Dishes

  • Nigirizushi (nee-gee-ree zoo-shee) Raw or cooked fish is parked on top of a little mound of flavored short-grained rice.  Fish may include but is not limited to: salmon, tuna, mackerel, boiled octopus, or boiled shrimp.
  • Inarizushi (ee-nah-ree-zoo-shee) – The outside pouches are thin, deep fried tofu cooked with soy sauce, sugar and other ingredients.  Inside of the pouch is flavored-sushi rice. 
  • Makizushi (mah-kee-zoo-shee) - Makizushi is a type of sushi roll filled with various ingredients.  These may include carrots, egg, cucumber or many other fillings.
  • Onigiri (oh-nee-gee-ree) Handmade rice balls made with salted, short grain rice and sprinkled with sesame seeds. A real, Japanese American favorite!

Fish, Beef and Poultry

  • Poke (POH-kay) Bowl Raw, sashimi-grade tuna, green onions, and seaweed, marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil and other spices, served over a bowl of rice. A very refreshing dish!
  • Teriyaki (teh-ree-yah-kee) Chicken – Chicken is marinated in a made-from-scratch teriyaki sauce and grilled to perfection.
  • Sesame Chicken Over Rice – Tasty little deep-fried chicken nuggets with a soy sauce-based sauce served over rice.
  • Teriyaki (teh-ree-yah-kee) Beef Sandwich - Beef is marinated in a made-from-scratch teriyaki sauce and served on a soft roll with lettuce and other vegetables.
  • Tempura (tem-poo-rah) Crispy shrimp and vegetables are coated in a light batter and deep-fried in vegetable oil.

Plus much more!