This past Saturday in Melbourne, 11th February, saw a bit of Japanese culture come to town in the form of the annual Japanese Summer Festival held at the Docklands. It was a great day with very sunny weather and crowds that only got larger as the day progressed.
Beginning at 4PM and stretching through til 8PM with a raffle draw that last an hour, there was heaps to eat and see with Japanese arts and culture on display and for sale at various stalls set up around the edges, there was also local Japanese import magazine shop, Kanga Kanga (@KangaKangaMelb), which was drawing a great crowd with some people seeing Japanese magazines for the first time.
There were a couple of Taiko drum exhibitions which the crowd really got into as well as a Sumo demonstration or two which was a bit tricky to see due to the huge crowd and the arena not being elevated. Still, what was seen was very impressive and gave people an idea that there is quite some skill involved in this national sport.
The food stalls had a great variety but the queues to get some nom noms were massively long in most cases, still they seemed to move along at a reasonable pace. There was also a beer area for the over 18’s where there was the usual suspects of Asahi, Kirin and some other plum alcoholic beverage.
All in all, a good day out, even if the crowds were a tad large for the area, maybe a larger venue can be looked at for next year. The main stage MC confirmed that the festival would go ahead next year so if anyone reads this and they’re an organiser, please choose a larger venue!! 🙂 So I managed to get some snaps which you can check out below, hope they manage to convey how large the crowd was and what a good day was had the people.
Tomorrow, the 11th February, will see Melbourne host the annual Japanese Summer Festival at Docklands. The event will take place between 4PM – 8PM with loads to see, heaps to eat and great prizes to be won, with the top prize being a return trip for two to Japan! Tickets are only $2 which is an absolute steal. Prizes range from vouchers to hotel vouchers and heaps more.
There will be Taiko drums and sumo exhibitions and more throughout the day so everyone should come down, it promises to be a fantastic day for all! For more info, check the link below or refer to the map.
Needless to say we will be there taking pics which we’ll be sharing later on so check back for that.
UPDATE: PICS WILL BE UP SOON, JUST SORTING THEM ALL OUT 🙂
NEW UPDATE: PICS AND RECAP ARE UP AND POSTED, CHECK OUT THE ARTICLE BY CLICKING HERE!
Last Saturday, 26/11/11, saw a bit of Japanese culture come to Melbourne. At the Collingwood Town Hall just outside the CBD and set amongst the backdrop of a fantastic warm afternoon, a festival celebrating all things Japanese was held. There were food stalls, Kendo demonstrations, sumo demonstrations and plenty to see and take part in. The grassy outdoor area held many stalls with interesting jewellery and delicious foods to buy and sample. There were also a few stalls helping out with the efforts to rebuild Northern Japan after the March tsunami and earthquake by donating funds from different items on sale such as beautiful calendars with hand drawn images.
Heading inside, after parting with an entry fee of $5, there was even more to see and do. There was a stage area where a Melbourne busker, who’s name eludes me, was performing with his guitar and female guest on guitar, who had the audience in a rapture. Definitely a highlight and will remember to get some footage of him the next time he’s playing in town. Towards the back of the seated area were more stalls selling Japanese food and drink such as Calpis and Calpico, anime drawing demonstrations and origami lessons and workshops. It was a hub of activity and as a bonus, just by walking in and paying, Laucha won the door prize, a six pack of Kirin beer, thank you very much!!
There was also another hall with more workshops such as Japanese lessons, drinking Japanese tea, some beautiful origami and of course more food! All in all, it was a great way to spend a few hours there set with a warm sunny afternoon, friendly people with lots to see, eat and do. Pics in the gallery below 🙂
2 days off work means more reviews to come for my new buddies over at Otaku Fuel…I’d kill to be going to Anime Expo ’11 but once upon a time I wanted to go to Tokyo Game Show and that ended up happening last year 🙂 Thanks once again to Aussie Gamer for the press hookup so I’m guessing if I play my cards right, I’ll end up at Anime Expo sooner rather than later. We really are starved for these kinds of expos in Australia, I mean, sure we have Supanova, Armagedon and Manifest as the three big ones but the space they occupy is minute compared to what takes place overseas. I’m fairly certain those three expos are the only big ones unless I’m missing one? The point being that while these shows do draw big names from the entertainment world, I’d give my left nut for something more anime/manga/J-pop culture related with a bigger emphasis on cosplay…maybe Japandaman needs to do something about this. Get some sponsorship happening, pay for some big names to come Down Under and get some people dragging themselves to a proper big show with vendors peddling their wares, the whole works. Good Smile Company, Max Factory and then maybe even Japanese pop culture blogger himself, Danny Choo. I’m sure he’d love it down here and people would definitely come from interstate to see him judging by the amount of Australian visitors to his site. And if we’re going that path, maybe even have a Japanese car culture section where Itasha would be introduced to the masses. If you don’t know what itasha is or what it means, have a click here or here.
But I digress as EB or Electronics Boutique themselves are planning an expo themselves at the end of the year, which in lieu of going to TGS this year, may be a distinct possibility on the Gold Coast. Link here to the website for those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about.
Of course something of this undertaking would require massive planning and I’d be doing market research for a lonnnng time to make sure this thing had the best chance of success and I’d probably call it Japania or something like that 🙂 So who’s with me, does anyone want to see a massive event like this here? So instead of us flying overseas, which we’d still do, it’d be great to see international fans coming here for the expo!
Blood: The Last Vampire. I loved this anime and only now I realised that there was a live action movie…wondering if it’s any good or right up there with the Dragonball and Tekken movie? I’m hoping not but let’s see what the internet provides…anyone seen the live action movie?
Just returned back from braving the chilly elements tonight in downtown Melbourne for the launch of the Nintendo 3DS and a turnout it was. Great night with free Red Bulls and other soft drinks, party pies and muffins so top marks for the catering effort. The staff were handing out 3DS lanyards with numbers on them for your space in the queue while upstairs in the Nintendo Experience there was heaps of multiplaying, Mii’s being made on the 3DS and printed out and food everywhere you looked. Quite a few news crews were there to interview gamers and gather some footage. There was in excess of 100 people downstairs, upstairs and milling out on the street. I managed to grab a copy of Ridge Racer to go along with my Streetfighter IV when I pick mine up in about 7 hours time. Anyways, enough from me, pics below and thanks to my mate Hendy for tagging along with me!! 🙂
Unless you’ve been living/sleeping under a rock, you’d know that Nintendo’s latest handheld, a true successor to the current DS, is launched tonight at midnight however not all stores are doing a midnight. As in the store where I have my pre-order is not so I’ll be picking mine up on the way to work tomorrow morning 🙂 In case you’re wondering what all the brouhaha is about, the 3DS is a helluva lot more powerful than the current DS but the biggest selling point is that it offers 3D gaming without wearing special glasses…yes, you read that correctly. The 3D can be adjusted via a nifty slider on the side of the unit so you can adjust how deep the 3D is or you can even turn the 3D off altogether if it strains your eyes of the game looks better at different levels of 3D-ness? Anyways one of the biggest launch titles if undoubtedly Streetfighter IV 3D Edition whereby the developer, Capcom, have managed to pack in and utilise all the 3DS has to offer including Streetpass and Spotpass. If you don’t what I’m talking about, here’s a link. And if you’re not convinced on how holy this even really is, have a gander at the trailer for Streetfighter below…awesome stuff!!
So me and a mate will be there to take pics and soak in the atmosphere for Aussie Gamer, pics to follow on that tomorrow 🙂