17 July 2017 – Media Release
The Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival is making a stunning return to Auburn’s Japanese Botanic Gardens in 2017. While the Cherry Blossoms are the premier attraction of what is the biggest Japanese Festival in Australia, painted on to this very instagrammable canvas is a truly spectacular schedule of Japanese fun with something for everyone. Throughout the two week blossoming period visitors will be treated to Japanese food, drink, music, garden shows, art, anime, cosplay and even the festival’s very own sumo competition the Sakura Cup!
Action kicks off on Friday 18 August at a Yozakura (night cherry blossom viewing). The cherry blossoms will be lit up in all their glory for viewing followed by exclusive screenings of Kimi No Na Wa (Your Name) or Shin Godzilla at a second Yozakura on Friday 25 August. This exclusive event is limited to a small group and tickets will sell fast.
Then the Japanese Botanic Gardens will officially open its gates to the public for the first weekend of Hanami, the thousand year old Japanese tradition of flower viewing. Over the weekend you can sample the many flavours and foods of Japan at a Japanese Food Village headlined by Adam Liaw, Masterchef winner and Goodwill ambassador for Japanese cuisine in Australia.
“Cherry blossom time is the most beautiful time of year, and Auburn’s Japanese Botanic Garden is the best place in Sydney to see them in all their glory,” said Adam.
“The Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival is a favourite with my family every year. We never miss it, and this year I’m really excited to be part of the line-up of an event we love so much!”
Guests will have the rare opportunity to catch live Sumo action at Stadium Sumo were competitors battle it out for the Sakura Cup with special guest visits from ex-professionals Minaminoshima and Hoshihikari.
Origami and arts workshops will be hits with the kids and traditional Japanese entertainment on the Kyoto Stage will be regularly running including Taiko, Koto, and Shakuhachi performances.
Graham Ross, one of Australia’s most recognised horticulturalists, will be taking over the Gardens on Tuesday 22 August with a Garden Clinic Day. Graham, having given cherry blossom tours in Japan, will be sharing all he knows about one of his favourite flowers, the Sakura. Guided tours of the Gardens will be accompanied by Ikebana and Bonsai demonstrations and workshops.
Lovers of Cosplay or J-pop will be spoilt over the second weekend of the festival with the Hush! Cosplay Day Jam Silent Disco presented by SMASH! and headlined by Japanese DJ Legend Teddyloid fresh from appearances at Ultra Music Festival and New York Comic Con.
If you’re looking for that perfect photo in front of the cherry blossoms then avoid the hustle and bustle of the weekend and walk the gardens at your own pace during the week, with cosplayers and kimono wearers gaining free entry on certain days.
Entry to the festival is free to LGA locals and children under 16 but check for exceptions depending on the theme of the day. Tickets sell fast so make sure to book online and guarantee your entry!
Expect downtown Tokyo style traffic and limited parking so make sure to be prepared and catch a train to Auburn station where free shuttle busses will take you on the short 5 minute trip to the Japanese Botanic Gardens from 9am to 5pm.
For the full details and to buy tickets visit http://www.cumberland.nsw.gov.au/sydneycherryblossomfestival/
Adam Liaw and son Christopher in front of the Cherry Blossoms