Celebrate Spring Japanese-style at the Sakura Matsuri Festival in Cowra

This weekend, celebrate the beauty of spring in fine Japanese fashion at the Sakura Matsuri Festival in Cowra. The Sakura Matsuri Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival is held in Cowra each year to mark the arrival of spring, with Japanese performances, arts and crafts, and Japanese foods.

The history of the gardens

The town of Cowra, in Central New South Wales, has a long, troubled history with Japan, following the internment of Japanese prisoners during World War II, and the subsequent escape in 1944, known as the Cowra Breakout. From these turbulent beginnings, beauty has emerged, in the form of Cowra’s renowned Japanese Garden, which was planted in 1971 to honour the lives lost during the war. The gardens were designed by acclaimed landscape architect Ken Nakajima, based on the style of the Edo period, with strolling in mind. Now the largest Japanese garden in the Southern Hemisphere, the Cowra Japanese Garden measures five hectares.

In bloom

Each September, the Cowra Japanese Garden celebrates the onset of spring with Sakura Matsuri. Meaning ‘Cherry Blossom Festival’, the Sakura Matursi showcases the stunning cherry blossoms that bloom throughout September and October, in the same way the cherry blossom season is celebrated in Japan during the Northern Hemisphere spring.

Cultural Significance of Cherry blossom in Japan

Floral festival

On Saturday 24 September, the Cowra Sakura Matsuri will draw more than 3000 local and international visitors for a colourful celebration of Japanese culture and customs. Enjoy taiko drumming performances, karate, sumo and aikido competitions, origami and kite making, plus a traditional tea ceremony, bonsai displays, and traditional Sakura Matsuri food stalls.

Visit the Sakura Matsuri at Ken Nakajima Place, Cowra, from 10am to 4pm.

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