Since 2012, Sydney has dedicated one day each year to pretending that Japan isn't nearly 8000 kilometres away. Whether you're hopping on a plane to Tokyo in the near future, have always dreamed of wandering around Kyoto come cherry blossom season, or just love sake and gyoza (and who doesn't?), Matsuri Japan Festival celebrates everything the nation has to offer — and it has become Sydney's biggest Japanese celebration in the process.
Indeed, last year more than 30,000 people went along to watch traditional and contemporary performances, knock back a few Orion beers, get their matcha fix, sip yuzu lemonade, learn calligraphy and origami, and devour sushi. And with all of that on this year's bill as well, plus karate and sumo demonstrations, audience cosplay, plenty of Japanese food and more, expect the fest to be fun and frenzied when it returns.
The 2017 festival takes place from 11am on December 9 at Tumbalong Park in Darling Harbour. Entry is free, but we can't promise that the accompanying yearning to plan your next holiday won't cost you anything.