I saw the ads in the train station that there would be Japan Matsuri (festival) on Saturday at Tumbalong Park, Darling Harbour. I haven’t been on top of any events lately, so I assured myself to go. The weather permitted. It was drizzling a little bit, but the sun didn’t shy away and the sky quickly cleared up.
For afar, I could see the crowds.. and it did feel like summer. I still have some difficulties orienting myself that December will be summery in the southern hemisphere. I spotted women and kids wearing yukata (light kimono for summer). Aah.. I have always wanted to wear one myself, but I haven’t got a chance myself.
I was anticipating yakisoba and takoyaki being sold in the stalls, and perhaps there would be a goldfishing game using paper net scooper. I was not disappointed. I saw some kids were busy scooping rubber gold fish using the scooper, just exactly like what I saw from animes and Japanese dramas. I heard that they could bring the goldfish home. I’d imagine the rubber goldfish would make the most convenient pet ever, albeit less fun.
Time for food! I was indecisive on what to get, but I thought I wouldn’t go for sushi because it just seemed to be out of the matsuri’s theme. The yakisoba looked great, yet I ended up with squid and octopus cake (something like fish cake on the stick). Yes, I am the type who likes to try something new. But then, it was clearly inadequate to be considered as lunch. I needed something more solid. Later I passed by a stall with BBQ squid and rice. The picture made me drool. However, I resisted the temptation because otherwise it would be too much squid (read: cholesterol) for the day. There was a curry stall selling curry rice that came with a lunch bag gift. I was more interested in the gift than the food, so I bade it goodbye (Sayonara~). The last stall was the sushi stall with a long line. I went closer, and apparently they only sold a selection of nigiri sushi. One plate consisted of 6 pieces of nigiri sushi and one tamagoyaki (egg omelette). A posted sign clearly mentioned ‘No Alternatives; No Special Requests,’ so no fussy eaters! When I saw some people walk away with their orders, and the sushi looked amazing. I could no longer say ‘No.’
It was kind of hard to really enjoy it since it was quite windy and empty benches were scarce. I decided to devour everything quickly as I was afraid the hot temperature would ruin the sushi. Still I enjoyed every piece. My favorites were the ocean trout and eel, if I had to choose, and the tamagoyaki as the finale was great. I would definitely like to try more in better settings.
The matsuri was overall fun, and would be more fun if I went with some companions. Maybe it will be something do for next year 😀