No plane ticket to catch cherry blossoms? No problem

It’s (still) that time of year—when you have to impose a social media ban on yourself, to avoid seeing the barrage of cherry blossom photos from the rest of Singapore holidaying in Japan. But for the rest of us penny-pinching plebeians who didn’t manage to chope leave first, take heart. An all-new Japanese festival is set to bring the joys of the Land of the Rising Sun straight to our shores instead.

Enter Resorts World Sentosa’s RWS Summer Matsuri, a revelry of food, drinks, films and cultural performances celebrating all things Japan. The inaugural edition runs from Jun 6-9 at RWS itself, with activities and food offerings in the likeness of the iconic Furusato Matsuri, an annual Tokyo festival that gathers traditions from various prefectures in Japan.

A no-brainer highlight at the upcoming festival: the food—and over 38 different types of it from nine prefectures, from just $3 a serving. Brought over from Furusato Matsuri Tokyo, a line-up of Hokkaido’s finest delicacies will be on offer for hungry visitors—from flavourful miso ramen to succulent grilled seafood and even lamb barbeque. If you consider yourself more of a dedicated donburi fan, then sit tight for the RWS Donburi Championship, where six award-winning chefs from Japan (the finalists from Furusato Matsuri Tokyo) will vie for the title of RWS #1 Donburi via public votes. The most important thing to note here is that you’ll be privy to tasting the six donburi up for competition; from the classic Oyakodon to luxurious crab rice donburi, your vote goes towards deciding who wins.

For dessert, sink your teeth into the sweet treats of various Japanese prefectures at Sweet Marche. There’s Puri Dora from Oita prefecture, a rich custard pudding sandwiched between fluffy dorayaki pancakes and drizzled with caramel; Matcha Parfait, and creamy Nama Melon soft cream, a swirl of melon soft serve perfect to beat the heat.

Not forgetting alcohol, RWS Summer Matsuri will be quenching thirst with a wide range of artisanal sake labels and Japanese alcoholic beverages at the Sake Inn, where you can pair your sake with more than 40 types of snacks ­flown from Japan with seven exclusive types only available at the event. Alternatively, head over to the Beam Suntory pop-up bar and Kirin Bar for refreshing Jim Beam Highballs and Roku G&Ts, and ice-cold frozen beers respectively.

Tokyo Koenji Awa-Odori

And because it isn’t just about food, the festival will pay homage to some of Japan’s oldest cultural traditions. Gawk at the 12-metre tall lanterns as part of the Akita Kanto, a traditional street lantern festival from the Akita prefecture meant to bring in good harvests; each lantern (or kanto) resembles grains of rice on a stalk and is hoisted by a single performer during the celebration. Or watch enthralling dance performances in Awa Odori, Japan’s largest dance festival, and a Japanese Summer Mardi Gras originating from Tokushima Prefecture.

In addition, look forward to Hello Kitty photo walls, Japanese film screenings and much more packed into the four-day event. Admission is free; tell all your otaku friends.

RWS Summer Matsuri happens Jun 6-9, from 5-11pm, at The Forum, Resorts World Sentosa. More information here.