Shichi-Go-San in San Diego

If you’ve always dreamed of visiting Japan, you can get a taste of the rich culture and history this month in a quick trip to Balboa Park.

Start off with a visit to the Japanese Friendship Garden on Saturday, Nov. 13 for Shichi-Go-San (Seven-Five-Three). The day is observed on Monday, Nov. 15.

Girls who are three and seven years old and boys who are three and five years old dress in their finest clothes and head to the nearby shrines to pray for good health.

You can dress your own children of those ages in traditional kimonos and have photographs taken of them in the garden. The cost of kimono rental, photography and a CD copy runs $90 for members and $100 for non-members.

Then, you can visit The San Diego Museum of Art where they’ve just opened “Dreams & Diversions,” a special exhibition of Japanese woodblock prints from its permanent collection.

It’s a visual tour through Japanese history and culture, the prints offer varied depictions of Mount Fuji, 19th century theatre, women in detailed kimonos, and boats at sea.

If you’d love to learn more, check out the guest lecture by master carvers and printers from Japan scheduled at the museum on Nov. 15.

According to the Balboa Park blog, you can also get involved in an interactive workshop where you can create your own woodblock print. The cost of the workshop is $200/person.

It’s a unique week of events that brings Japanese culture and history to our continent.


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