Otakon isn't the only place in Baltimore where Japanese culture is being celebrated this weekend. Want to take a break from Otakon for a little bit? Here are three events you might want to check out:
Sake The Fells Point bar Bad Decisions will be hosting a Sake Weekend on Friday and Saturday. Friday, several different kinds of sake will be available, as well as a menu of shochu and sake cocktails (shochu is Japan's other alcoholic beverage of choice).
Saturday will feature a four-course dinner beginning at 6 p.m., with each course accompanied by the appropriate sake. The menu includes chicken or vegetarian yakatori, pickled cucumber and daikon radish salad, braised pork belly or avocado and ginger lentils, and chocolate-dipped watermelon with smoked salt.
The cost is $25; tickets are limited, so call ahead. Bad Decisions is located at 1928 Fleet St. Information: 410-979-5161 or makeabaddecision.com.
'Final Fantasy' The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Handel Choir of Baltimore perform music from the pioneering "Final Fantasy" series at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. Arnie Roth will conduct music by Nobuo Uematsu and Masashi Hamauzu while graphics from "Final Fantasy" I through XIV are projected on a screen. Uematsu will participate in a Q&A after the concert.
Tickets are $38-$58; for $150, you get "premium seating" and a post-concert meeting with Uematsu and Roth. Information: 410-783-8000 or bsomusic.org.
Bit Gen Gamer Fest This seventh annual concert, featuring bands that specialize in music written for (or inspired by) video games, is set for 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Bourbon Street, 316 Guilford Ave. Featured bands include Year 200X, The Descendants of Erdick, Bit Brigade, X-Hunters, Cheap Dinosaurs, Ice Cap Assault, Random Battles, DJ Cutman andf Pixelseed. There'll be plenty of games to play, too. Tickets for the all-ages show are $18. Information: bitgengamerfest.com.