Location: Box Hill TAFE (which by the way I had trouble finding the place and my group from the tram stop. The tram stops at the station and doesn’t go any further. Being from the north west I didn’t realize that there was another quieter side to Box Hill. I only know the station and city side of it). There is limited parking at Box Hill TAFE so everyone took a tram or a train to get there. By train it is classified to be in zone 2; but by tram it is in zone 1 from the city.
Date and Time: Sunday, 10am-5pm
Costs: $5 for entry, $3 for tea ceremony, $7-$15 for just small plates of food, $2 for a raffle ticket (which we did not buy as we didn’t think that we’d win anything), $1 for lollies and $10-$15 for other things.
The games were about $2 each.
The Japan Festival was a fun day out. I went with Sally, Mr Cheap and Mr Japan guy. There were many stalls and performances and I went to a tea ceremony (see the cultural notes).
I didn’t have lunch at the festival- only just the takoyaki as the lines were ridiculously long. The lines at the drink bars were long too hence no green tea.
There were prizes to be won for the raffles and the drawing contest.
The games were really fun to watch.
At the stalls there were many toys sold as well as tea, magazines, books, mochi (Japanese sweets for $5), sauces, kimonos, soaps etc. This was a lot bigger than the one at Docklands.
The performances were really fun to watch. We loved the drumming one.
And there was the bonsai plants which were lovely to look at.
Tea ceremony- A tea ceremony lasts for about four hours. In this case this one didn’t. This one only lasted about 30 minutes. There was about 100 people all attending the ceremony and more were interested in it.
Here the ceremony was explained to us and there were bowls of tea to be tried. Before the ceremony starts we were given wagashi (Japanese sweets).
Takoyaki- these are deep octopus balls which contain flour, water and bits of octopus. This is a favourite street snack in Japan. Here the flour and water are combined to make batter and then once the batter is in the pan the little bits of octopus are added to it. Then it is cooked for about 5-10 minutes. To finish it off they put some sauce on the top and the moving bonito flakes. Yummo.
It was worthwhile spending $5 for the entry fee as we had a great time here. The only downside is that there should be more signage at the station.