Last weekend we went to a Cherry blossom festival to welcome spring.
I always wanted to attend the Cherry blossom festival in Japan and imagine my surprise and excitement when I found out that one of the councils (Auburn) in Sydney has organised a Cherry blossom festival in their botanical garden.
Japanese Sakura, Cherry Blossoms, bloom once a year for about two weeks, providing a beautiful spectacle. Cherry blossom viewing parties (Hanamis) are very significant events in Japan and having a picnic lunch under a blossoming cherry tree is a popular Japanese tradition.
It was nice and sunny afternoon and we got there after driving for more than 40 minutes. There was a guy at a roundabout who instructed us toward a mostly empty parking lot. We parked our car and walked toward the entrance of the garden. We had to pay $4 to enter. As soon as we entered, I could see so many people already there, next to the Japanese garden where there were rows of cherry blossom trees. The path looked really beautiful but we had to wait for a while to take our photos as there were so many people already.
Once we took our photos there we entered the Japanese garden via the moon gate. We waked around the Japanese garden and got to see more cherry blossom trees. It has a big beautiful lake in the middle with ducks and swans playing in the water. I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t gone to such a beautiful place before. Also at one corner, there were two Japanese musicians playing beautiful music. Inside the garden there was also the Tea House Garden, the five traditional mountains, the main waterfall, the central island, the bridges, the Ryoan-ji style Garden, the pines and the Azaleas.
From there we went and visit Scented Garden and sunken Rose garden. As it was too early in Spring, there were no roses but still there were other flowers that made the garden look really lovely.
After a while we got hungry. I regretted that we hadn’t packed a picnic as I saw so many people were enjoying their lunch in the garden. There was a cart selling coffee and cakes and another one was a Japanese cart at the entrance to the gardens selling Takoyaki, a ball-shaped Japanese snack made of a wheat flour-based batter and cooked in a special takoyaki pan. It is typically filled with minced or diced octopus, tempura scraps (tenkasu), pickled ginger, and green onion. We waited in a long line for more than 40 minutes and bought mixed large pack. They weren’t the best and we regretted again that we didn’t bring anything from home. Normally I love them but that day we couldn’t finish 16 balls between the two of us.
After lunch we continued our trip toward Australian Native and Rainforest Garden. The rainforest area of the Garden sits between the billabong and the adjacent Duck River. There is a thick canopy of foliage over the area with a large amount of vegetation which produces a moist, deep leaf littered, mouldy floor.
From there we made our way to Fauna Reserve and Aviary. We saw Swamp Wallabies, Red Necked Wallabies, Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Emus, Rufous Bettong and the Common Wombat as well as beautiful peacocks.
The best part of the trip was, it was a perfect sunny day to walk in the garden and enjoy natural beauty and the worst part of the trip was the garden had only one toilet for women so there was a really long queue. To make it worse, the toilet had no lock and there was no toilet paper or soap either. Please Auburn council, you could make everyone’s trip there nicer with proper toilets.