Japan in bloom at Flower Dome

Pretty cherry blossoms were the centre of attention at the Flower Dome conservatory at Gardens by the Bay yesterday, where visitors could experience some of the magic that draws thousands to Japan every year when these flowers bloom in early April.

But the fun does not stop there. As part of a new effort to bring the sights, smells and even tastes of Japan to the gardens, a Japanese-themed festival called Sakura Matsuri is also being held alongside its annual sakura display.

This includes exhibits of special kimono-clad dolls, each worth thousands of dollars, as well as an "Anime Garden" at the Supertree Grove today and tomorrow. This will feature celebrity cosplayers, well-known Japanese performers such as May'n as well as a parade with people dressed as fictional creature Pikachu from the popular game and show Pokemon.

The last week of the festival, which runs until April 8, will welcome the Sakura Japan Fair, where visitors can try out an array of Japanese food as well as workshops on sake appreciation and baking.

Entry to the festival is free. However, visitors to the Flower Dome have to pay $12 to $28.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 17, 2018, with the headline 'Japan in bloom at Flower Dome'. Subscribe