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Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival 2013

Hieu Chau

Thu Jan 10 2013


PUT on your best yukata and immerse yourself in all things Japanese as Hieu Chau guides you through this year’s Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival.

Returning to the New Quay Piazza in Docklands for a third year this Sunday February 10 is The Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival, a festival dedicated to the promotion of Japanese culture.

Referred to as “natsu matsuri” in Japan, this type of festival is celebrated all across the country and is often the highlight of the Japanese summer.

While it may be winter in Japan, the Japanese Society of Melbourne thought it befitting to bring the festival to us by celebrating the occasion during the Melbourne summer. Admission to the festival is free as well which should no doubt provide further incentive to visit.

Visitors to the Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival are more than welcome to take part and join in some of the live performances. Photographer: Samuel Lim

As someone who has volunteered at this same festival a year prior, last year’s Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival was certainly a fun and worthwhile day in the sun. Last year, I tried my hand at a humble shooting gallery, participated (and failed) in rhythmic Japanese dancing, and had fun browsing through the yukata selection at the festival.

East meets west. George and Noriko's signature fusion of country blues and Japanese folk music will grace the central stage at this year's festival.

Highlights at this year’s festival include traditional dance performances, martial arts demonstrations and musical performances. George and Noriko, finalists from the 2012 edition of Australia’s Got Talent (whom you can occasionally spot busking on the city streets of Melbourne), will also be making a special appearance at the festival this year.

In between witnessing performances at the central stage, there will be food aplenty with vendors ready to serve traditional Japanese fare including okonomiyaki (a type of Japanese pancake), takoyaki (fried octopus balls) and the ever enjoyable sushi.

Various performances will occupy the central stage of the Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival for much of the afternoon. Photographer: Samuel Lin

Additionally, a prize raffle will be running, and among the myriad of prizes to be won is a coveted pair of return tickets to Japan.

With a scenic locale to accompany the festive spirit of the Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival, there’s certainly enough attractions at the festival to entertain visitors for the entire afternoon.

This is definitely one event to put in your diary.

The Melbourne Japanese Summer Festival will take place on Sunday February 10 from 1pm to 5pm at New Quay Piazza, Docklands. Admission to the festival is free of charge. For further information about the festival, visit the festival’s official website