Geisha ladies

Sakura Matsuri: Cowra Cherry Blossom Festival

Overseas holidays don’t come cheap. And the cultural wonders of Japan may seem off limits to those without deep pockets. But do we have a solution for you.

Celebrate the arrival of spring at Sakura Matsuri 2018, also known as the Cherry Blossom Festival, at the Cowra Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre on Saturday 22 September 2018.

An easy 30-minute drive from our Wyangala Waters holiday park, the multi award-winning Cowra Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre is a natural oasis filled with lush gardens, streams and waterfalls.

And for the past 29 years, the Centre has come alive at Sakura Matsuri; a celebration of traditional Japanese culture under the glorious canopy of the Garden’s iconic cherry blossoms.

“It’s a day to enjoy different facets of traditional Japanese culture, from martial arts and origami to bonsai and tea ceremonies,” said Shane Budge, Manager at the Cowra Japanese Garden.

“Around 2,000 local, interstate and international visitors come each year to see the cherry blossoms, wander the gardens and take in the cultural experiences that make Japan so unique,” he said.

The 2018 Festival Program includes:

  • Battodo (Japanese Sword) demonstrations;
  • Origami and tea ceremonies;
  • Martial art demonstrations including karate and sumo wrestling;
  • Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging) displays;
  • Kimono fashion parades;
  • Japanese dance, drumming and singing;
  • Bonsai demonstrations;
  • Over 20 market stallholders selling food, jewellery and crafts;
  • Kyudo (Japanese Archery) demonstrations; and
  • Activities for the children.

Whilst the Festival is a major highlight on the Cowra tourism calendar, the Cowra Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre is worth a visit at any time of year.

Covering over five hectares, this beautiful and peaceful Garden opened in 1979 as a symbol of goodwill, reconciliation and peace between Australia and Japan. But why Cowra?

Cowra was the town nearest to a POW camp where thousands of soldiers were detained in World War II. An escape effort in August 1944 saw more than 231 Japanese soldiers killed and buried nearby.

With local members of the RSL tending their graves, a mutual respect grew between Japan and the citizens of Cowra. The Garden is symbolic of this unique relationship and the Japanese landscape.

“My favourite spot in the Garden is the hill which has beautiful sweeping views. And when you learn about the design, the concepts involved, you start to realise it’s more than just a garden,” said Shane.

Wander the grounds and bask in their beauty and tranquillity. Feed the Koi from one of the viewing platforms. Take in an exhibition at the Cultural Centre, then enjoy a bite to eat the licensed café.

And whether you visit especially for the Cherry Blossom Festival, or indeed at any time of year, a stay at Wyangala Waters is an ideal for keeping hold of that peaceful, tranquil feeling.

Located on the shores of Wyangala Dam, this is the spot to get away from it all. Stay in one of our cabins or cottages, pitch a tent on a powered site, or get back to nature with some bush camping.

What better way to celebrate the new season and experience fascinating Japanese culture? Book your tickets to Sakura Matsuri and prepare for your international journey. No passport required.