Japanese Garden

In Full Bloom

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Every year the people of Sydney are lucky enough to experience the beautiful site of cherry blossoms blooming under the winter sun. Wanting to see them with my very own eyes, I headed out to the Auburn Botanic Gardens to catch a glimpse of these bright flowers where they also had some Japanese culture on display for visitors to enjoy – think performances, cosplay, food and music. As it was the final day of the Cherry Blossom Festival, and a Sunday no less, you wouldn’t be surprised if I told you that the gardens were packed with people ready to take the ultimate Instagram snapshot (myself included). With the sun shining, peacocks strutting with their feathers out and plenty of spots to pose next to the sakura trees, I think every person who walked through those garden gates had a profile worthy picture.

The gardens are already quite beautiful on any given day, but with the cherry blossoms adding a splash of colour to the otherwise green scenery, it’s really something else. For those with an obsession with native Australian animals, there’s a little area with emus, wallabies and kangaroos all ready for their close-ups. Just be careful of the geese, they can be a bit feisty, especially when their baby goslings are around. Speaking of birds, during my attempt to take a photo of a colourful peacock walking atop a fence, this majestic bird decided to turn around and poop right on the ground in front of me – nature is super classy.

As with all festivals, food is always the most essential item on my to-do list because it is of utmost importance that you have the energy to walk around and explore as much as possible before it’s time to head back home. Plus, I just really enjoy eating. I’m a huge fan of most Asian food I’ve tried and Japanese cuisine is definitely no exception. I did end up going the standard sushi route for lunch, but the stalls had all sorts of dishes on offer from donburi to bao, chicken karaage and even fairy floss if you were up for some dessert – talk about spoiled for choice! All the stalls seemed equally popular with long lines for nearly all the food trucks, but they moved quite efficiently so it wan’t long before you were chowing down on your meal of choice.

Since the festival is over now, we’ll have to wait another full year before the cherry blossoms are back in bloom. It’s definitely worth checking out if you’re a Sydney-sider whether you just want a relaxing day out or want to practice those photography skills, and even if you’re just visiting from overseas, it’s a nice, budget-friendly excursion that really shows off Australia’s multiculturalism. I’m keen to return once the flowers are showing off their colours again, but next time I’ll be smarter about the festival and come on an empty stomach so I can taste test more food stalls.

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