Urban Life 35

20:57' 06-02-2018
The Summer Festival (“Natsu Matsuri”) is an annual event in Japan, and is also celebrated every February in Melbourne at Federation Square.

    Photo: Weekly Review

    City Calendar           

    Priscilla – Queen of the Desert

    Regent Theatre, 191-197 Collins Street. Tuesday to Sunday, various times, until 18 March. Based on the Oscar-winning film, Priscilla is the hilarious adventure of three friends who hop aboard a battered old bus bound for Alice Springs to put on the show of a lifetime. The iconic and glittering hit musical spectacle, featuring a dazzling array of more than 500 award-winning costumes, 200 head-dresses and a nonstop parade of dance-floor classics, returns for its 10th anniversary celebration tour. For bookings and info phone 1300 11 10 11 or visit priscillathemusical.com.au.

    NGV Triennial

    National Gallery of Victoria, 180 St Kilda Road, Southbank. Free entry daily 10am-5pm. Works from more than 100 artists from 32 countries on show on all four levels. Architecture, animation, performance art, film, virtual reality, tapestry, fashion design, design and sculpture. Includes a full-sized Moroccan tea house and photo booth, Yayoi Kusama’s Flower Obsession, an entire apartment outfitted by Ikea, the 18 metre long Eternity-Buddha by Chinese artist Xu Zhen, Fantasia-style gowns of Chinese couturier Guo Pei, and many other works to delight and challenge the senses.

    Tai Chi & Qigong

    Fed Square, Cnr Swanston Street and Flinders Street. Tuesdays 7.30am and Fridays between 8am and 9 am. Feel refreshed, rejuvenated and energised with the Chinese martial art that promotes health and relaxation. Free classes by expert instructors from Tai Chi Australia, ideal for all ages and levels of fitness. Wear loose, comfortable clothing and flat shoes. In bad weather sessions will be held in The Atrium (off Flinders Street). Phone 9655 1900 or visit fedsquare.com/events/tai-chi.

    City Eat & Drinks                

    Passionflower Ice Cream Parlour

    168-174 Bourke St, Melbourne. Sun-Thurs 10am to midnight, Fri-Sat 10am-1am. A variety of exotic ice creams and desserts, many with an Asian twist, such as black sesame and coconut ice creams, pandan ice creams, durian ice creams and green tea ice creams. Phone 9663 0033 or visit www.passionflower.com.au

    Asian Street Food Tour

    Saturday 24 Feb 3-6 pm. Cost: $59. Meeting Point: Swanson Street, CBD. Guided tour around a variety of venues, each with their own delicious samples to share. Book at foodi.com.au/asian-street-food  or phone 1300 39 40 41 by Thursday 22 Feb.

    City Shopping

    Docklands Market

    Newquay Promenade, Docklands. Every Sunday 10am to 5pm. Stroll along the peaceful promenade and browse the sights, sounds and scents of stalls selling handmade clothing, jewellery, art, homewares and toys. Fresh coffee, juice and snacks available, and sometimes live music. For details visit www.melbmarkets.com.au/docklands-sunday-market.

    Ten Green Balloons             

    101 Therry Street, Melbourne. Near Queen Vic Market. Thu-Sun 10am–4pm. Pop-up market with mix of new and old homewares and giftware. Latest designs and vintage objects side by side. Something for everyone, or for the person who has everything. Phone 0412 247 746 or visit www.urbanwattle.com.

    City Entertainment

    White Night Melbourne 2018

    From 7pm Saturday 17 February to 7am Sunday 18 February, CBD landmarks are lit up with a kaleidoscope of light, with musicians and dancers performing around the city. Creative animations use public buildings as a backdrop. Highlights will feature at the State Library, Flinders St Station, Fed Square and Melbourne Museum. See the whole program at whitenight.com.au/melbourne.

    Curtin House Rooftop Bar & Cinema

    Curtin House, 252 Swanston St, Melbourne. Experience a Melbourne night at its best, sitting above the rooftops, looking at a star-studded sky, sipping a cool glass with a burger and enjoying your favourite movie. Featuring Dazed and Confused, Thor Ragnarok, and music features The Punk Singer and The Go-Betweens. Visit 2017.rooftopcinema.com.au to see what's on. Adults $22, Concession $18, and blankets on hire for $5. Seating starts from 9.00pm and films at 9.30pm. Phone 9654 5394 for information.

    Jankara Karaoke

    Jankara Karaoke, 300 Russell Street, Melbourne. Open every day 7am-1am, Sat-Sun until 5am. Free karaoke – just pay for your food and drinks. Over 5,000 karaoke songs in English, Japanese, Chinese and Filipino. Enjoy Japanese bar snacks and hot dogs & pizza. Breakfast available in the morning, coffee served during the day. Phone 9662 4042 or visit jankara.com.au.

    Editor's Pick

    Crown Lunar New Year

    The Atrium, Crown Towers, 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank, Friday 16 February to Sunday 18 February. Experience the dazzling Zodiac Spectacular featuring 60 suspended traditional lanterns, 12 giant zodiac animal lanterns and lucky cumquat trees. A magical fireworks display at 9.45pm on Friday 16 February welcomes the beginning of the new year. For more information, visit www.chinesenewyear.com.au, phone 9830 7231 or email info@multiculturalevents.com.au.

    Melbourne Electric Vehicle Expo

    Go Kart Club of Victoria, Todd Road, Port Melbourne. Sun 18 Feb 9am–4.30pm. Free event.

    Australia's largest electric vehicle event, with lectures and displays of the latest electric cars, bikes, skateboards and motorcycles. Test-drive them on the large closed-circuit track. Eva Hakansson, the world's fastest female motorcyclist, will give a presentation about her record-breaking electric motorcycle race. For information call 0413 877 229 or visit www.evexpo.org.au.

    VR Plus

    272 Lygon Street, Carlton. Open Mon-Fri 12 noon to 8pm, weekends 10am-9pm. Experience the excitement of Virtual Reality adventures, alone or in groups up to seven. Climb Everest, pilot a spaceship, fight monsters or ninjas. Over 30 different games to choose from. Games cost $45 per person for a 50 minute session, but can be cheaper for group bookings. For more information and bookings visit vr-plus.com.au.


    Celebrating Summer In Japanese Style

    The Summer Festival (“Natsu Matsuri”) is an annual event in Japan, and is also celebrated every February in Melbourne at Federation Square.

    This year's Festival will be held on Sunday 25 February from 11am to 5pm.

    Melbourne's Japanese Summer Festival began in 2010. At first it was held on the last Saturday in February at Docklands. In 2013 the day was changed to Sunday, and the following year the Festival moved to Fed Square.

    The first Festival had little time for preparation, with only 15 stalls and 5,000 attending. However, it was a big success, its visitors doubled in 2011, and last year it drew a crowd of 42,000.

    The traditional reason for the Festival was to show respect to the ancestors. This is done by taking part in a circle dance called “bon odori”. The dancers wear a cotton kimono known as yukata. At the Melbourne festival, all visitors are encouraged to learn the dance and join in.

    Other performances include Taiko drumming, Okinawan folk music, J-Pop, dance, and Kendo sword demonstrations. This year a special guest will be Japan's favourite bear, Kumamon, visiting Australia for the first time. He will be on stage at 12.35pm and around the festival, so be sure to greet him.

    There are two competitions to look out for. One is a raffle, first prize two Qantas business class return tickets direct from Melbourne to Tokyo. In 2012 the money raised by selling raffle tickets was donated to support areas struck by disaster in the Great East Japan Earthquake of that year. Tickets will be on sale around the Festival, and the draw takes place on main stage at 4.30pm.

    The other competition is the “Best Dressed Award” in two categories, traditional yukata and kimono, and Cosplay. First Prize in each category is a Melbourne Star Private Cabin Ticket for 20 people. Second and Third Prizes are a Melbourne Star Annual Ticket and a Day & Night Ticket, each for two adults. Everyone who takes part gets a special gift from Melbourne Star.

    Anyone is welcome to apply, but each category is limited to only 25 participants. Bring your own outfit and visit the Registration Booth near the River Terrace on the day of the event. Registrations go from 2.30pm to 3.30pm. Prizes are awarded on the main stage at 3.55pm.

    The wide range of stalls has traditional Japanese games and activities, such as origami, balloon-yoyos and toy-fishing. If you like arts and crafts, you will find plenty of those on sale. Of course there are also food stalls offering delicious Japanese food favourites like sushi, okonomiyaki and bento, as well as ice creams and cold beer.

    This is a chance to enjoy and take part in a wide range of Japanese culture, and the steadily growing numbers each year prove its popularity.

    Visit jcjsm.org.au/fest or the Facebook page to see photos of past Festivals, find more information and keep up with the latest news.

    Ryoko A



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Keywords: crown lunar new yearjankara karaokewhite night melbourne

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