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16° & PARTLY CLOUDY ON THURSDAY 24 OCTOBER IN BRISBANE
By Sarah Ward
July 08, 2019
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Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival 2019

These babies only bloom for two weeks of the year — don't miss them.
By Sarah Ward
July 08, 2019
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Hanami and Japan go hand in hand, but what if you could indulge in the art of flower viewing (yes, that's what the term translates to in English) a bit closer to home? Well, that's where the Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival comes in. It's a celebration of everyone's favourite pink flora in Sydney's west.

Between Saturday, August 17 and Sunday, August 25, the Auburn Botanic Gardens will transform its Japanese Gardens into a beautiful, blooming wonderland. You'll be able to ramp up your appreciation of the fleeting natural phenomena that is cherry blossom season by attending a massive viewing party in the lead up to spring. Tis the season, after all.

And taking in the spectacular scenery isn't the only thing you'll be doing. Over the two weekends of the festival (that is August 17-18 and 24-25), you'll be able to get your fill of Japanese entertainment. There'll be guided shinrin-yoku or 'forest bathing' therapy in the gardens, live Japanese blues music and ikebana (the Japanese art of flower arrangement) workshops. For the kidults, you can also expect a cinema dedicated to one of Japan's most popular characters Gudetama (Lazy Egg), laser tag in an anime-themed arena and Hello Kitty makeovers and stage shows.

This year, the festival is ramping up its food offering, too. As well as eating your way through an array of Japanese food trucks, you'll also be able to try a heap of cherry blossom-inspired eats. Former Masterchef Australia winner (and national treasure) Adam Liaw has even created a Cherry Blossom Festival Bento Box for the occasion.

A pop-up izakaya will serve up sake and Japanese craft beer, too, and Sydney's Sakeshop will be selling limited cups of Hanamikura Aya sake — which is made from a yeast extracted from the cherry blossom flower.

If you've got a day off and want to skip the crowds, it'll also be opening during the week (August 19–23), with Costa from ABC's show Gardening Australia hosting a jam-packed, hands-on gardening day on the Tuesday and an educational day on the Friday.

Tickets cost $7.50 for early birds, $10 for general admission and is free for Cumberland residents.

Early bird tickets are now on sale for the Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival and can be purchased here

Images: Destination NSW. 

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