18 Feb 2020
Women walking around in their colourful yukata with the thundering beat of the taiko drums. It’s that time of the year again for the Japanese summer festival at Docklands!
It really was ‘Japan in Melbourne’, a day where the traditional Japanese summer festival intertwined with Australian culture. Majestic shrine floats and parades of the Japanese festival were swapped for the glistening bay and the seagulls. But that’s where the differences end. Visitors were treated to the sights, sounds and tastes just like a festival in Japan.
Many people took the opportunity to wear their colourful yukata. Some people expressed their love for anime by cosplaying. There were also people dolled up imitating the Harajuku Lolitas.
Nothing beats the adorable little children in their cute yukata. There were many things kid-friendly activities: shooting games, yo-yo fishing and ring toss. Kids could try out the activities at the cultural tents and have a go at origami or calligraphy.
Anyone recognise Fujio Tamura from Kokoro Ramen?
There was a good variety of Japanese food to choose from. Many of the foods you would find at a real summer festival in Japan, like yakitori, ramen, takoyaki and dumplings.
My favourite performance changed at the end of each one! There were elegant traditional dances, shamisen and taiko drumming that you could feel in your chest. The Ninja performance was a big crowd pleaser and so were George and Noriko.
But the atmosphere was definitely the best during the later performances when people weren’t away in the food lines and the cooler temperature made everyone happier to play along!
Not only was it a fun way to spend a summer’s day, it was a successful celebration of Japanese culture.
Article & photos: Jane