The Matsuri Festival in Darling Harbour is Sydney’s largest Japanese cultural event. Held over one day during the first week of November it is an exciting mixture of exhibition, performances and yummy food stalls, the latter always being reason for the ACM Group team to cover an event. Isn’t it so true that it is food that brings people together; especially in this country. There are dancers, martial artists, drumming groups, singers and so much more all happening on this jam packed day. You get the full gamut of all things Japanese, from traditional forms to funky creative offshoots. I think I’m turning Japanese, turning Japanese, I really think so!
The exhibition side of the Matsuri Festival offers a great opportunity for those thinking about travelling to Japan for a holiday or work. Japanese airlines have display booths, tourist operators, government and consular officials and accommodation providers are all there with lots of inspiring information. Meet the Kumamoto Castle’s Hospitality Samurai Squad and discover one of Japan’s premier tourist attractions. The Tokyo Disney Resort is “where dreams come true”, at this amazing theme park in Japan; find out about it here at Matsuri. The Sydney Japanese International School has a stand to promote their bilingual primary school in Terrey Hills.
Food opens doors to people’s hearts via their appreciative taste buds and tummies. Yummy Japanese food has been wowing Sydneysiders for decades and there is a great range of stalls at Matsuri. Izakaya food is here, as well as sushi, noodles, teppanyaki, and so much more. Grab a lunch box or a sushi roll, try Kanazawa black curry, Japanese fish cakes on a skewer and wash it down with a sugarcane drink. Japanese food is clean and healthy; and mostly fat free.
While I was eating my delicious Japanese food I watched the Hula Aloha Hawaiian Group of Japanese women doing traditional Hawaiian dance. Then the high intensity Mad Unity Dance and boy does this dance crew have some moves. Following this the karate was on and the combat routines were breath taking. There was Japanese folk dancing, plus Soran dance, and the Wadaiko Rindo Sydney drumming troupe; who were full of spirit. The haunting sounds of the shakuhachi had me spellbound and transported me to a sanctuary in some mountain top hideaway in my imagination; very beautiful music. You really get the incredible diversity of the Japanese soul; it comes in so many unusual forms and flavours. The Matsuri Festival is a very rewarding experience and I am already looking forward to 2016.