Canberra Nara Candle Festival goes gastronomic for the Canberra Nara Foodie Weekend | HerCanberra

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Canberra Nara Candle Festival goes gastronomic for the Canberra Nara Foodie Weekend

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Itadakimasu! It’s pronounced e-tad-a-kim-as and roughly translated it means “let’s eat” in Japanese.

If it’s not quite flowing off your tongue yet, don’t despair—with the lineup of delights on offer for the Canberra Nara Foodie Weekend from October 22 to 25, it’s a phrase you’ll become more than familiar with.

For the uninitiated, the Canberra Nara Candle Festival is an annual celebration of the 27-year strong Canberra Nara Sister City relationship.

It attracts 15,000 visitors and locals from all corners of the city and is based on a much larger candle festival, the Nara ‘Tokae’, held in Nara, Japan. This year is the 17th annual Canberra Nara Candle Festival, and like most events in 2020, things are looking a little different.

While we won’t be gathering en masse in Lennox Park, all of Canberra will be simultaneously treating our tastebuds to delicious fare by candlelight at Itadakimasu, the Canberra Nara Foodie Weekend.

Over 20 local Japanese restaurants and eateries onboard, offering everything from fine dining degustation to sashimi takeaway and warming miso to refreshing green tea ice cream. Spots are limited, so be sure to check out the list of participating eateries and book soon.


Of course, there’s more to Japan than just the cuisine. With the international travel ban in place, now is the ideal time to immerse yourself in Japanese culture. Check out the Canberra Nara Candle Festival website to find more about the local businesses, community groups, schools, clubs and workshops who can help you, or try your hand and some Japanese crafts or recipes.

If you’re yet to explore the stunning Nara Peace Park, now is the time. The park was a gift from the people of Nara to the people of Canberra, and while you can explore the Japanese gardens and cherry blossom trees at your leisure, you’ll also have the opportunity to strike the Rotary Peace Bell from 11 am to 3 pm on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 October.


What: Itadakimasu — Canberra Nara Foodie Weekend
When: Thursday 22 – Sunday 25 October
Where: Japanese restaurants and eateries across Canberra
More information:

Feature image: Ashley St George for Lazy Su

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