Before I start, let me just say…THAT WAS THE BEST FESTIVAL EVER!!!
And so… why only for one day? Why for only 7 or so hours? Why not for a weeeeeeeekkkkkkeeeeeeeennnnnnnddddddddd?
Ok ok..back to my post.
This was by far the best festival and the one festival I enjoyed most. Also, the one where I stayed longest, walked furtherest, ate the most, and was mesmerised the most.
The festival began with a bang, literally, traditional drumming, continued with an impressive show list of performers both from Japan and from Melbourne, offered Japanese style dancing lessons and so much more.
With people dressed in kimonos and garments of the sort all around, Fed Square quickly became painted with colour, laughter and excitement. Cosplay was quite big also, with Sailor Moon making an appearance (not officially organised but still nice) Bleach characters, Geisha, ninja and the lot.
Stalls offered everything and anything beginning with Japanese hot foot, Japanese candy and treats, Manga books, Anime DVD’s, Japanese style fans, Kanji writing lessons, Kimonos for sale and for hire, Japanese printed materials, hair accessories and anything else you could think of to associate with Japan. If I was to write everything, there would not be enough time in a day for you to read it all. Here are some of my favourite highlights. :0)
This fan may have cost me a little more than its worth, but I loved how friendly the service was. I had originally wanted my name translated and written on the fan but was soon offered a lesson in how to write it and so, at the top, crooked as it may be, in my own name in Japanese writing hand written by yours truly 🙂
The city all dressed up
Taking a stroll through the city we saw the people express their roots as never before. The Kimono’s were beautiful.
So life like it was scary
Fist stop at the festival. The mannequin was so lifelike it scared me to begin with. This stall was selling Japanese material. 🙂
SAKE SAKE SAKE
Entertainment this year was really great! There was traditional Japanese singing, traditional instrument playing that varied from traditional to some western influence on the music and even a strong pop influence at times; to drumming, geisha dancing and a group dance-along.
Ninja from back in the day
The Japanese are very dedicated. This is a man dressed as a ninja that was there all day. We walked past him countless times. I was in danger of dying from heat, exhaustion, dehydration and possibly even frying to death in that sun, and this man seemed to have no problem at all. I guess they must do some super training to be able to withstand such harsh conditions I was crumbling in. I mean, he is a ninja after all.
Ring of dancing public
No need to be specially dressed
He was really good
This was so much fun. They teach you three dances and then you can take part in a huge dance in the middle of Federation Square.
Sad to say, but my kimono days only lasted a fair 15 minutes, but it was one of the things I had wanted to do for such a long time. I can finally tick it off my list. Kimono’s were selling for the price of an average dress and were hiring for much much less.
Kimonos are a bonding experience to large degree. It takes someone an average of 10-15 minutes to help you dress into it. There are many layers to it, many ropes scarves strings and wraps and I don’t see how one could put it on alone (unless you get some that have fake bows and back pieces).
Needless to say, the lady at the rental place was super nice, helped everyone that came to her stall and truly made that experience so much better.
It was an attraction and a great highlight for me.
They even took a polaroid (or two in my case) and gave it as a souvenir.
Finishing the night with a Japanese pancake at Lentils as anything. It seems that I didn’t take enough good quality food photos.
Ending the night with a stolen look at the fireworks from the Moomba festival on the bridge. It is amazing as to how many people and cars fin on it all in one go. Have a look…closely…at the bridge.
What a day. My favourite festival 🙂
So did you go? Do you wish you had gone? Leave a comment below 🙂