Enjoy Japanese flavour at the Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival

The Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival this year, held over two weekends in August (20-21; 27-28), will be bursting with Japanese culture, food, music, performances, martial arts; all amongst the  beautiful Auburn Botanic Gardens and the flowering cherry blossoms.

fiji-japLast year over 40,000 people flocked to this colourful festival which promoted a `cosplay’ theme.The programme for this year’s Festival is combining traditional Japanese culture with modern edgy interpretations that challenge boundaries. This cultural and musical duality will be brought to life on two special stages. Festival goers will be able to marvel at the beauty of cherry blossoms while enjoying a unique exposition of traditional Japanese culture, including:

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The Kyoto Stage (situated on the Peacock Gallery lawns) presenting traditional Japanese performances such as sumo wrestling, ikebana presentations, martial arts and taiko performances. Highlights include:

  • Shakuhachi Japanese Flute Performance
  • Waikado Rindo – Taiko Drumming
  • Sawai Koto Ensemble
  • Sumo Wrestling

The Harajuku Stage (in the Botanic Gardens at the Hanami picnic area) will host Japanese turntablist DJ Naiki, rising indie folk favourite Garrett Kato, and The Voice’s Kiyomi Vella, not to mention heaps of J-pop, karaoke and hula hoop workshops. Highlights include:

  • Noriko Tadano (direct from recent  tour of Japan)
  • Kiyomi Vella
  • Garrett Kato
  • Dj Naiki
  • Swordshapes ft Yuux

The festival encourages festival goers to partake in the ancient tradition of Hanami, picnicking around the blossoms with family and friends and we have set up an amazing assortment of traditional and modern Japanese delicacies to try as well as many other multicultural offerings.

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Food vendors include:

  • Sashimi and noodles from the team behind Sydney’s Masuya Japanese restaurant
  • Festival favourite Syoku Samurai serving Takoyaki
  • Pork belly buns, Asian street fare and Japanese themed burgers by the team at Tsuru and J-burger
  • Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes) from a young emerging catering crew Modern Yaki

“The Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival is a truly unique event in Australia that encapsulates the beauty of the Botanic Gardens while celebrating the culture of Japan. This Festival is emblematic of the rich diversity of our community and is welcoming to all who come to view the blossoms. This year we have an exciting array of entertainers, both traditional and modern, which will complement the splendour of the gardens. Please enjoy the Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival!” Administrator of Cumberland Council, Viv May said.


fiji-japanEntry to the festival is free to LGA locals, children under 16, and people in cosplay and kimono costumes. A free Shuttle bus service will operate between Auburn Station and the Botanic Gardens from 9am to 4.30pm. But tickets here: http://www.cumberland.nsw.gov.au/activities/sydney-cherry-blossom-festival/