The Japanese community of Byron Bay will be launching the inaugural Japan Festival on Sunday 26 November at the Main Beach Surf Club and surroundings.
This is a free festival open to the community. Mayu Akiba explained a little more.
Can you tell me what you are planning for the Japan Festival?
The idea is to create a free event that brings a Japanese-style festival to Byron Bay. There will be a great mix of food, market stalls, workshops, art and entertainment.
Why did you decide to have this festival?
Initially the idea came out of Japanese culture and language classes we were running voluntarily for our kids at Byron Bay Public School. All the students in the classes really loved them and soon we were creating a festival so not only the kids but the wider community could experience and learn about Japanese culture and traditions. Japan is becoming such a popular holiday destination for people from the Byron Shire and more and more Japanese are calling this area home, so to create a Japanese-style festival seemed like a perfect way to create a cultural bridge between the two countries.
Why are so many Japanese people attracted to the region?
The weather and natural beauty of the area, alternative healthy lifestyle, the abundant activities such as surfing and yoga, and the feeling of safety the Byron Shire provides.
How can people get involved?
Go to the Japan Festival Byron Bay Facebook site and share it with your friends or sign up to volunteer if you are interested in helping out. Otherwise come along to Main Beach on 26 November and enjoy the festival. Wander around the markets, watch the performances, play games at the festival stalls and, of course, eat the delicious food. If you really want to experience the heart and soul of a Japanese festival join in the many workshops and activities on offer. Be sure not to miss out on the Omikoshi Parade that you can sign up to take part in on the day, or join in the Bonodori dancing circle.
Sunday 26 November 9am–4pm at the Byron Surf Club.