Matsuri in Sydney is the biggest Japanese festival in town. It takes place at Tumbalong Park in Darling Harbour every December, in honour of the cultural contributions of Japan to Australia.
The full-day festival is free for everyone to attend, as it promises lots of attractions and activities for guests of all ages. It was founded in 2006 to celebrate Japan and Australia’s 30th anniversary of friendship, and has since grown into a festival that over 30,000 people make the trek to each year. Most of the attendees are part of Sydney’s large Japanese community, but it’s also well-attended by Sydneysiders and residents from other parts of the world.
The traditional style Matsuri in Sydney features a Japanese beer garden, matcha tea, and all kinds of authentic Japanese cuisine: gyozas, savoury pancakes, sushi and sashimi, tempura, and much more. On stage entertainment is provided by Japanese festival dancers as well as sumo and karate demonstrations. Authentic Japanese items will be for sale, and there will be displays showcasing Japanese calligraphy, tea ceremonies, origami, and flower arrangements among others.
For those interested to learn more about traveling to Japan, feel free to approach the Japan Local Government Centre and the Visit Japan stall. Tourism associations from various prefectures and cities around Japan will also be present.
The event runs from 11:30AM to 7:30PM. Tumbalong Park in Darling Harbour is equipped with facilities such as toilets and parks for visitors. There are many convenient ways to get to the park; via train, depart the Town Hall station and catch one of the buses that pass through Market, Park, Bathurst, Druitt, or Liverpool streets. Ferries from Pyrmont Bay Wharf and King Street Wharf can take you to Tumbalong Park, and if you take a car there are parking stations close by.