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Celebrating Japanese culture and cross-cultural friendship within a multicultural society, the Matsuri Japan Festival brings many Japanese attractions that include traditional arts, craft workshops and stage performances.
Organised by the Japan Club of Sydney, various exhibition booths will be open that showcase and sell everything from tourism to clothing. The Club will have a booth of its own selling kimonos and yukatas (summer kimonos), amongst gorgeous items from other stalls.
Cultural workshops, providing hands-on activities, cover calligraphy (11am-1pm), Ikebana flower arrangement (11am-4pm), Origami paper folding (1pm-4pm) and a tea ceremony (11am-4pm).
On the stage, there will be plenty of music and Japanese dancing, including the J-Pop Aozora band, acoustic guitar singer Makoto Tanaka, J-Pop idol AGS102, Eisa and Bon folk dances, and many more. Add to this a kimono dress show, cheerleading teams, tai chi, karate martial arts and Taiko drumming from Wadaiko Rindo, providing some exciting and energetic highlights that represent Japan's unique culture. The full stage program with timings can be found on the Facebook event page.
Some Japanese games on the day will include Kingyo Sukui, a children's goldfish scooping amusement, and yo-yo fishing that traditionally involves dipping a hook and fishing for a rubber band to get a water balloon prize.
Look out for the Omikoshi, a portable Shinto shrine for the gods and spirits. It resembles a small building which is fixed to 4 poles, usually carried by three males.
Keep an eye out for the Omikoshi
The Japanese also love to dress up in what is known as Cosplay, a type of performance art where fans usually make their own costumes based on fictional characters from comics, movies, video games and the like. They're generally colourful and very Instagrammable.
Nourishment will come from stalls providing a taste of Japanese street food. The line-up of these are yet to be announced but last year's event had the likes of gyoza (Japanese dumplings), sushi, curries, okonomiyaki (savoury pancakes/pizza), taiyaki (sweet, fish-shaped cakes), chocolate delights, shaved ice and more. Beverages included Match tea, Yuzu lemonade and cane juice. A beer garden was also set up. It will most likely be similar this time around. The stalls participating this year will be updated shortly on social media.
Try something out of your comfort zone at this festival