Extremely popular and much looked forward to, the Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival is back at Federation Square, corner Flinders and Swanston Streets in the CBD. Save the date for this FREE & Fun Family Event. Sunday 23 February 2020 from 11.30am to 5.30pm will showcase all that Japan has to offer. Most importantly, this year, the MJSF is fundraising through both raffle tickets and on the day donations to be sent to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal.There'll be donation boxes placed around the vendors on the day, so please give and help raise funds to support all those going through this devastation.
What you'll find at the festival are fantastic Japanese restaurants from all over Melbourne that'll have something for everyone, be it yakitori, takoyaki or other festival favourites. There's also ice cream and a cold beer to keep you cool on a hot day. Arts and crafts abound and lots of other goodies for the creative and fashionable. A walk around the festival will open your eyes to all kinds of activities and entertainment, and lots to do. Join in the traditional Bon Dance, one of the most important traditions in Japan, and participate in giving thanks to one's ancestors.
Stay in touch via the event page, the website, their Instagram and Twitter account @MelJPSummerFest to stay updated as more information comes to hand. Unfortunately, if you were thinking of volunteering at the festival, you're too late as volunteering positions are now closed. Maybe next year.
The festival schedule kicks off with opening speeches at 11.40am, followed by the every popular Wadaiko Rindo drums at 12.15pm. The lineup goes on continuously right through till 5.10pm, and you can check it out on their Instagram page. You can also find the performance schedule on the website. There's dance, Cosplay dance, music, karate and drums, Okinawan Music and more.
If you love George Kamikawa and his energetic Jam Session with A.Ja, 2.15pm is the time to remember, along with the Bon Odori Dances which will be held at 1.45pm and 2.50pm. The Best Dressed Awards will be held at 3.55pm and the Raffle Draw at 4.40pm.
If you're a lover of Cosplay or like to dress up in a Yukata/Kimono, this is a great time to have fun and even win a prize. If you'd like to participate in the 2 categories (Kimono & Cosplay) at the Best Dressed Award on stage, visit the registration booth in the Atrium on the day of the event! Registration will start at 2.30pm and close at 3.30pm or when each category has 25 applicants; hence don't delay!
The prizes for the Yukata/Kimono attract a Melbourne Star private cabin voucher (max 20 people) and 2 adult annual passes for 1st prize, Melbourne Star 2 adult annual passes for 2nd prize and Melbourne Star 2 adult day and night tickets for 3rd prize. All prize winners will receive a a Melbourne Star Beanie Kid and a Melb Star Cap. All participants will receive a special ball point pen gift from Melbourne Star. The Cosplay Award attracts a gift voucher from Madman Entertainment.
This popular event plays host to almost 30,000 people each year who come out to enjoy the entertainment, special cultural activities, and delicious Japanese cuisine. Join in and immerse yourself in the flavours and fun of the festival, right in the heart of Melbourne.