Fresh from throwing Brisbane's first ice cream shindig, West End's new West Village precinct is gifting the city another new event. This time, sake and bubble tea will be flowing freely, gyoza and yakitori will be filling stomachs, and origami folding and an arcade alley will be testing nimble fingers at the first Brisbane Japanese Festival. Yes, arigatou gozaimasu is exactly what you should be saying.
Taking place from 11am to 5pm on August 19 as part of Japan Week Brisbane, the day-long street fest celebrates the country that gave us everything from Pokemon to Godzilla to Studio Ghibli with a feast — of festivities, of culture and of food. And while there's plenty of fun due to come in all categories, sushi doughnuts fall firmly in the latter. Sushi. Doughnuts. Talk about taking two great things and making them even better.
The festival will also boast markets and food stalls, bars serving sake and whiskey, a bonsai garden, traditional drumming and dancing, chopstick challenges, Japanese personalities, music, art and more, all helping turn West Village's indoor and openair spaces into a Japan-centric wonderland. Food-wise, there'll also be karaage, poke bowls topped in sashimi and bento boxes galore — and while the organisers haven't explicitly mentioned ramen, it wouldn't be a Japanese fest without the sounds of slurping, now would it?
Tickets cost $10, and given how popular the ice cream festival was — more than 5000 Brisbanites went along — snapping one up ASAP is recommended. Plus, online ticket buyers go in the draw to win a trip to Japan.
The Brisbane Japanese Festival takes place on Saturday, August 19 at West Village, 97 Boundary Street, West End. Head to the festival website and Facebook page for further details.