Thundering Taiko drums, colourful kimonos and majestic flying falcons are just some of the sights and sounds at this year’s Will Adams Festival, taking place on Saturday, 15 September at Gillingham Park.

Now in its 12th year, the free family event is held to celebrate the life and times of Medway’s famous seafaring son, who is said to be the first Englishman to travel to Japan.

Themed zones will focus on both the Tudor England that Adams would have grown up in, and the Japanese life he would have encountered on his arrival, when he was bestowed the honour of becoming a Samurai.

Among the attractions will be Manga art, samurai helmet and fishy kite workshops, a Tudor jolly boat, Tudor cooking, martial arts displays, re-enactments depicting crime and punishment in Tudor times, uchiwa fan making, origami paper magic and a display all about Sir Francis Drake.

Refreshments including Japanese and traditional English Food will also be available throughout the day.

Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services Cllr Howard Doe said: “The Will Adams Festival marks Medway’s many important connections with Japan and attracts thousands of visitors every year. Even if you haven’t been before I really urge you to come along; it’s fascinating, fun and free to enter – and it’s perfect for families as there’s something to keep children of all ages entertained.”

For more information and a brief biography of Will Adams, click HERE
The Will Adams Festival runs from 11am to 4.30pm. For more information visit