You have a chance to win one of six return airfares to Japan when you book a $5 ticket to the Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival thanks to Scoot; major sponsor of NSW’s largest flower festival and Australia’s premier celebration of Japanese culture and cuisine.
Set against the made-for-Instagram canvas of blooming Cherry Blossoms in the Japanese Gardens, the Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival runs from Friday 17 August – Sunday 26 August 2018 at the Auburn Botanic Gardens.
With night time karaoke led by Fuji Rockers “Abban”, a pop-up stadium for the gods of Australian sumo, sake by Sakeshop and Japanese craft beer on offer at the Festival’s own izakaya bar, personal appearances by icon Hello Kitty, culinary favourites like Gelato Messina serving up Japanese inspired dishes and more, the Sydney Cherry Blossom is a world away from traditional flower festivals.
Action kicks off on Friday 17 August at the VIP yozakura event (night Cherry Blossom viewing). The Cherry Blossoms will be lit up in all their glory for viewing followed by an exclusive performance by Fuji Rock Festival favourites and Japanese ABBA tribute band “Abban”, before a night of ABBA inspired Karaoke. Tickets $15.
Then the Japanese Gardens will officially open its gates to the public for the first of two weekends of hanami (18-19 August and 25-26 August), 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, including Cherry Blossom ice cream or Harajuku style unicorn fairy floss. Guests will also have the rare opportunity to catch live Sumo action at Stadium Sumo.
“The Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival really has something for everyone with kids’ days, seniors’ days, social media friendly days, gardening days, plus a good mix of mainstream food and entertainment offerings,” said Mayor Greg Cummings.
“The 2018 Sydney Cherry Blossom promises to be the biggest and best yet, with crowds expected to eclipse last year’s 90,000 visitors and a suite of new attractions, events and major sponsors.”
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.
Gardening Australia’s Costa Georgiadis will bring his gardening know-how and famous beard to the Gardens on Tuesday 21 August. Costa will share his insights into the sakura tree as well as gardening and sustainability tips. Guided tours of the Gardens will be accompanied by Ikebana and Bonsai demonstrations and workshops.
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. 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 out fast so Cumberland residents should register for tickets online to guarantee their spot. For more details visit cumberland.nsw.gov.au/sydney-cherry-blossom-festival