This weekend the Morimoto Sakura Festival kicked off its final event – The Matsuri Festival! It was a fun event with many Japanese street food stations, games and even a talented calligraphy and origami artist.
We kicked off the day with a version of the Connect 4 game to play for sweets like Koala’s March cookies and “sushi” candy! I won the first round of the game and our friend, Sean, won the second round. He spent part of his childhood in Japan, so it was a lot of fun to get to learn more about Japanese cuisine and culture during the festival as we visited with the chefs and artists along the way.
Near the first game station was the Ramen station. You could build your own ramen dishes with the assistance of your chef!
At the next station was a new dish that I had never tried before… Takoyaki! It is really cool to watch the chef make the dish. It is made from a dough that is filled with bits of octopus and seasonings, cooked until it’s crispy on the outside and topped with takoyaki sauce, mayo, and aonori.
On the way to the calligraphy station, we stopped by to pick up some Okonomiyaki which is similar to a pancake. It is a very savory dish made with eggs, cabbage and usually a meat or protein. This was one of my favorites!
One of the highlights of the event was the calligraphy station. The artist, Shizuka, was amazing. She created some beautiful pieces. Here are my name, our mom’s name and Twinkie’s name. Isn’t it fantastic? We enjoyed visiting with her during our time at this station. It was one of my favorite times of the entire Sakura festival!
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It was amazing to watch everyone’s names written in Japanese at the Morimoto Asia Matsuri Festival yesterday! It is truly an art form… 😍 🖌 🇯🇵 – – – #morimotomatsuri #morimotosakura #calligraphy #handlettering #japanese #japanesewriting #morimotoasia @morimotoasiafla #disneysprings #waltdisneyworld #disneyfood #sakurafestival #matsuri #wdw #disneyworld
The next game on the list was the Ramune Ring toss! It was a lot of fun and I actually made the first shot! You were given a round of 5 rings for each game. You got to choose from a few different Ramune flavors including flavors like Lychee, Melon, and Strawberry. I was surprised I actually enjoyed the Lychee flavor the most! The bottles are fun to open and even have a little tool built into the cap to use.
On the way to the next food station there was an Orgami station so that you could learn to make an animal or select one that you loved. There was a hopping frog, cobra that could strike when you pushed its tail and even a big dinosaur! I ended up picking out a pretty crane in rainbow colors.
We took a stroll over to the bar to drink the Ramune sodas and try a couple of the exclusive cocktails that were available like the Matsuri Tea with green tea, Midori and elderflower liquer and the South Pacific Spritz with kalamansi. Both were very good and a unique mix of flavors, which is why I have enjoyed the special festival drinks throughout this month. We also tried the Winter Sakura non-alcoholic drink made of cherry calpico soda and it was delicious! I wish I could drink this one all the time. They also had the Crooked Can Brewery’s exclusive Sakura brew infused with cherry blossoms.
The next stations coming up included the sushi station and dessert station. At the sushi station, I ended up trying the onigiri, or Japanese rice ball. It was soooo good! They had 3 different varieties available and even had one with shredded pork inside. The sticky rice of the onigiri is often shaped into triangular shapes and wrapped in a bit of special nori.
The dessert station was great and it was great to listen to Chef Yuri talk about the process of how they create the Mochi from scratch. Be sure to watch the live video tour to see some of these in action.
A new treat that I tried was dongo, a sweet dumpling dessert made from rice flour and similar in texture to mochi. It was so good! There was a mix of sweet and savory flavors and even one with black sesame seeds.
The Sakura Festival kicked off on March 15th with a great event featuring the brew masters from Crooked Can Brewing Company in Winter Garden, Florida, a community less than half-an-hour from Walt Disney World. This amazing partnership supports local business while bringing the amazing Sakura Kolsch to the Morimoto Asia menu.
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Who loves @crookedcan brewing company? When you are at @morimotoasiafla be sure to try their Morimoto Asia exclusive brews! This one is infused with the Sakura cherry blossom 🌸 🍺 Cheers! 🍻 – – – #morimotosakura #sakura #disneyfood #morimotoasia @morimotoasiafla #wdw #disneyworld #disneysprings #waltdisneyworld
We loved getting to learn more about sushi and sake at the Taste from the Seas of Japan. This was our first time trying octopus and Uri (sea urchin!), as well as a unique aged sake that was aged in porcelain. If you love sushi, Morimoto Asia has some wonderful varieties that are flown in fresh from Japan.
The final treat of the festival that I enjoyed has been a long time favorite since I was a kid- shaved ice or Kakigōri! I love the strawberry flavor with the sweet milk on top! A perfect ending to a wonderful month of fun.
Thank you so much to Morimoto Asia for bringing this amazing festival to Walt Disney World! We’ve learned so much during the past month and have experienced so many new foods from the heart of Japan and the warm hospitality of the wonderful Japanese culture.
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