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A little bit of Japan in Olinda - Hanami and suika-wari

21 Sep 2009 10:29 AM | Contact Us (Administrator)

Following our yearly tradition, members and friends of the Australia-Japan Society and Bridge Club Australia gathered in the beautiful Rhododendron Garden in Olinda on Saturday 20 September to enjoy traditional Japanese-style cherry blossom viewing (Hanami).

Just like in Japan, we enjoyed a picnic while viewing the beauty of pink and white cherry blossom trees.  We were also joined by the happy bright daffodils that had come into bloom throughout the gardens.

Bridge Club Australia organised Japanese games for the young and young-at-heart, including the Japanese summer game of suika-wari (a bit like a watermelon piñata).  This involved blind-folded competitors being guided by their team-mates to crack open a watermelon. 

As some visiting Japanese students pointed out, the Australian watermelons were much larger than Japanese watermelons.  As a result, they took much longer to be defeated than the Japanese variety.  Everyone took quite a few turns to attack the melons and when the winners were finally declared, the melons were in a less than appetising state. 

Luckily we had some spare watermelons to enjoy after the game and to share with our Japanese friends.

Families and friends could also have their names written in Japanese calligraphy, have a go at Ikebana flower arranging and view a traditional Tea Ceremony.  Some Bridge Club members tested out the kites they had created at the 2009 Reunion at the Osaka festival and there were also quite a few frisbees being thrown about.

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