Salt Lake City's Japan Town will see a vibrant revival this Saturday, as several Japanese-American groups present a cultural festival.

The event, "Nihon Matsuri," which translates to "Japan Festival," is free and open to all, said Floyd Mori, event chairman.

The goal is to bring the Japanese American community together and "show the community at large a little bit about Japanese culture."

There are an estimated 6,349 Japanese-Americans in Utah, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2003 American Community Survey.

Mori said the festival, presented by Utah's People of Japanese Ancestry, is a first-of-its-kind collaboration of about six Japanese American religious and civic groups that he hopes will become an annual event.

The festival, at 100 South between 200 and 300 West, opens at 11 a.m. Saturday with a taiko drum performance by Ogden Buddhist Taiko Group and continues until 8 p.m.

Other performances include martial arts demonstrations, a kimono fashion show and karaoke. There will also be a formal Japanese tea ceremony and Japanese food from sushi to manju, a Japanese pastry.

Retired Judge Raymond Uno and Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon will be among those participating in the opening ceremony. Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. is also scheduled to make an appearance at the event.

There will also be exhibits of the old Japan Town, which was displaced by the Salt Palace, and the Topaz Camp, where Japanese Americans where detained during World War II.

"I think it's going to be great," said Edie Mitko, director of the state Office of Asian Affairs.

"I would like people to see the exhibit of the old J-Town," Mitko said, adding she hoped it would raise awareness of efforts to bring back Japan Town, which once housed several Japanese American businesses.

"After church we'd go down and do grocery shopping," she said. "It was a nice little block."

The only original building left is the Japanese Church of Christ, though the Salt Lake Buddhist Temple remains in a new building.

Several Japanese cultural events were formerly held along the Wasatch Front, but many have disappeared, Mori said, noting, "We want to preserve some of that festival spirit and have the rest of the community join with us."