Following in the footsteps of Anaheim’s Japan Fair, the inaugural Taste of Japan food festival will invade the Pike Outlets in Downtown Long Beach, Saturday, Sep. 14.

While non-drinking general admission tickets are extremely affordable—$5 for pre-sale, available here, and $7 at the door—for those looking to drink endless gulps of sake and beer, tickets will be $60 for pre-sale and $80 at the door (and will include a goodie bag as well as two free food tickets).

The Beer and Sake Garden will feature Sapporo, Orion and Suntory beers while also hosting Hiro sake along with a small selection of others.

Food vendors include:

  • Okayama Kobo: Known for their panko-crusted steamed curry buns and coppe, Japanese-style hot dog bun sandwiches, this bakery has quickly built up a name for itself since opening last year in Anaheim.
  • Gindaco: Japan’s largest takoyaki chain opened up its first North American shop in Gardena last year and has since been gaining crowds eager for their version of the popular octopus ball dish.
  • Tenkatori: Japanese fried chicken. ‘Nuff said.
  • Sushi Boy: With three shops across the L.A. region, Sushi Boy is approachable sushi, from rolls to sashimi.
  • Tamaen: Focusing on the quality of Japan’s famed Wagyu beef, this barbecue-on-your-own joint has become a staple in Gardena.
  • Tsurumaru Udon: Udon, the thick, handmade Japanese noodle, is a staple in the island’s cuisine—and Tsurumaru creates every version imaginable for you.
  • Otafuku: Though offering a variety of Japanese dishes, from takoyaki to hayashi, Otafuku’s most known for its take—and free recipes handed out to customers—on yakisoba, a fried noodle dish.
  • Uncle Tetsu: This place specializes in Japanese cheesecake: airy, not-too-sweet, and wonderful.
  • Shinkai Ramen: Ramen. Ramen. More ramen.
  • Temmus Goen: “Temmus” is basically any form of rice wrapped in sushi, depending on who you ask and what region you’re in.
  • SVR BBQ: Grab some meat, grab a skewer and grill away.
  • Orange Cultural Salon: Despite its name, don’t expect a barber or hairstylist to be on-call at the festival. Orange Cultural Salon specializes in a variety of noodles.
  • TKY: Kakigōri is Japan’s version of shaved ice—and TKY is one of SoCal’s go-to options for the dessert.
  • AJAJ Cafe: Think of this cafe as a one-stop-shop of Japanese food, from meat skewers and milk teas to desserts and boba.
  • Katsu Brothers: A katsu sandwich is basically a cutlet sandwich, where a piece of protein—typically panko-breaded chicken or pork—is fried and stuffed between two slices of white bread.

Tickets can be purchased here. Taste of Japan will take place on Saturday, Sep. 14, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Pike Outlets, located at 95 S. Pine Ave.

Brian Addison is a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or on social media at FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn.