If catching the cherry blossoms in Tokyo has been on your bucket list forever, then brace yourselves for all the flower antics right here in Sydney.
This year, our very own massive Cherry Blossom Festival is all about celebrating Japan’s foodie traditions and cherry blossoms (obviously). This year's theme is "Love, Peace and Blossoms", with a focus on mindfulness and respecting the beauty of Mother Nature. So, you can expect a heap of health and wellness practices like a casual dose of ikebana (flower arranging), too.
The festival will be held over nine days and there’s a heap of events to get around including the Hanami festivities. Here you’ll find the Japanese Food Village packed with Japanese fusion snacks and themed dishes inspired by the pink cherry blossom—think cherry blossom waffles, sakura burgers, and Gram-worthy cherry blossom lamingtons. There'll also be the Sakura Mocktail Bar, where you can sip a zero-alc concoction while bopping along to a host of DJs spinning Japanese pop tracks.
As for exploring the cherry blossoms, you’ll want to hit The Cherry Blossom Trail for all the Instagram ops, plus a handful of workshops and themed activities in the crowd-favourite Hello Kitty Garden.
If you’re keen for more action, then the nine-hole Harajuku-themed mini golf course is where you'll want to go. Or, head over to the Flower Power Stage to catch a high-spirited live drum performance from YU NI ON TAIKO, demonstrations and talks on flower arranging and Japanese storytelling, and the Flower Rave—where you can join in a power-packed dance routine held every morning during the festival.
This year, Cumberland City Council is responsibly limiting how many people can visit the cherry blossom viewing area at a time (coz, ya know, COVID). There'll be eight 45-minute sessions per day, so make sure you book your spot before chasing those cherry blossoms.
In terms of getting there, hop on the train to Auburn Station and catch the free shuttle bus to the gardens. Or, park in the pop-up car park on Tavistock Street and hop aboard the Sushi Express—a cute-as-can-be mini train.
Tickets are available here.
What: Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival
When: Saturday 20 August through Sunday 28 August 2022
Where: Auburn Botanic Gardens
Keen for more culture? Check out the best museums and galleries in and around Sydney.
Image credit: Destination NSW