Flea brings Japan to LIC

Photo Courtesy Oconomi-Kazuko Nagao
Photo courtesy Oconomi-Kazuko Nagao

Japan is coming to the LIC Flea & Food.

On October 5 and 6, LIC Flea and vendor Oconomi will host a Weekend of Japanese Culture at LIC Flea & Food.

Oconomi regularly serves Oconomiyaki, Japanese vegetable pancakes, at LIC Flea, but will extend the menu for the celebration.

“Queens represents every culture,” said Kazuko Nagao, owner of Oconomi. “LIC Flea itself has many different cultures involved.”

There will be eight booths dedicated to Japanese culture and food.

Oconomi will sell its traditional pancakes, along with stirred fried noodles known as Yakisoba, Japanese curry, rice balls and “creative” sushi.

Celebrating Japanese culture, children and adults will be able to try their hand at Japanese calligraphy on Saturday with Masako Inkyo, on-site instructor who will teach participants how to hold a brush. There will also be an origami station where you can turn paper into art and Kabuki face painting, featuring faces of a traditional Japanese play.

Along with the delicious Japanese treats and activities, guests will be able to enjoy three unique performers. Female geisha dancers in costume will perform in a group called Salme and Japanese pop singer Reni Reni will also make an appearance. The final performance combines music with audience interaction as the Poku Poku Boys play Koto, a traditional string instrument, while translating names from English to Japanese in calligraphy, allowing audience members to take a piece of the performance home.

“We as Japanese really want the people who are regulars of LIC Flea to experience something different,” said Nagao. “This time they can try different food. The regulars can try something new and we are hoping we can bring a lot of new people to LIC Flea & Food too.”

Come take a trip to Japan via LIC Flea & Food, located at 5-25 46th Avenue.