Friday, 17 May 2019

Japan Festival 2019 at Box Hill Town Hall

This Sunday (19th May) we will be 'on deck' at the Japan Festival, Box Hill Town Hall from 10 a.m. We are looking forward to catching up with old and new friends so please drop by and say hello!
Our display will feature a FSFA promotional leaflet and our 2020 Japanese Festival flyer, postcard giveaways, and Virtual Reality (VR) goggles with our 360 degree Frankston Experience.

Virtual Reality goggles at the 2018 Australian Fair in Susono
You'll find our booth at the back of the Main Hall, in the thick of the action! Looking forward to a great day.

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Frankston Susono Friendship Association Bulletin No. 3 - May 2019

Dear Members (Friends of FSFA),

Don’t forget you are most welcome to attend our monthly FSFA Executive meetings. They are held at 6.30 pm on the first Tuesday of the month. Location is the Acacia Room in the Frankston Council offices. Enter off Young Street. The next meeting is Tuesday 7 May 2019.

2019 Japanese Speech Contest

Our annual Japanese Speech Contest for local primary and secondary students is being held this year on Friday 6 September 2019. This is a popular event for those students in the Frankston region who are learning the Japanese language.

We have in the order of 26 schools teaching the Japanese language and culture. Thank you to those schools for their support of our speech contest. More details will be available in a couple of months. 

Japanese Festival 2020

The next Frankston Japanese Festival will be held on Sunday 29 November 2020. We will have the pleasure of a delegation from Susono visiting for the occasion. It is also the weekend of the Christmas Lights Festival in Frankston. This will be a special time for our visitors.

The Festival is planned for Frankston High School and promises to be bigger than ever! We are looking for a whole range of Japanese related people and organisations to participate in the Festival.

Please spread the word.

Pies for Japan

Four 'N' Twenty pies have announced they will be selling pies in Japan. They will be sold at the Rugby World Cup later this year and the Olympics next year. April 20 this year was Pie Day in Japan. The pies will also start appearing on supermarket shelves in Japan.

We have adopted sushi as part of our food culture. It is nice to be able offer something in return.

A New Emperor

Today, the 30th of April is the official end of the Heisei era in Japan and tomorrow, 1st May, is the start of the Reiwa era. Heisei translates roughly as achieving peace; Reiwa means beautiful harmony. Eras follow Emperors in Japan.

Today, 85-year-old Akihito will step down from what is known as the Chrysanthemum Throne. The last time an Emperor abdicated was in 1817. Tomorrow, his 59-year-old son, Naruhito, becomes the 126th head of the world's oldest continuous ruling dynasty, which has a chrysanthemum as its imperial standard.

Rather than having to mourn an Emperor's death, the nation will instead be able to celebrate the change of head of state with a record 10-day holiday called Golden Week. This is from April 27 to May 6, which includes a couple of weekends and a new national day off in honour of Naruhito's ascension.

While some hard-working Japanese people are bemused by having 10 days leave foisted upon them, others have seized the chance to go on overseas holidays. Domestic tourist offerings include wedding packages at midnight to span the two eras, and sunrise charter flights around Mount Fuji so that passengers can witness the dawn of a new era over a national symbol.


We welcome your thoughts on the bulletin and things we could include, etc. We all share a passion for Japan and its culture and traditions. This is one way we are using to share and spread the love.

Thank You and we look forward to keeping in touch.

Peter Patterson

On behalf of the Frankston Susono Friendship Association

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Japanese Tour Report by Frankston High students Sarah & Brigid

On Sunday 23 September 2018 the Frankston High School clarinet choir, led by Mr. Peter Sharp and Mrs. Sally Bredin, arrived at Narita airport and travelled to Ueno and Tokyo. We stayed there for four days experiencing the joys of Japanese culture and experiences such as their markets, Harajuku, Tokyo Disneyland, and the Studio Ghibli Museum.

Studio Ghibli Museum located in Inokashira Park in Mitaka, Tokyo

On the 28th we joined the Frankston delegation at Tokyo Station and headed off on the bullet train (shinkansen) to our sister city Susono. The delegation arrived at the Citizens Cultural Centre in Susono for a formal gathering where we were introduced to the Susono committee and our lovely host families. We all parted ways with one another and were treated to delicious culturally significant Japanese food and got to experience what it’s like to live with a Japanese host family.

Mount Fuji World Heritage Centre in Fujinomiya

The following morning, we met at the Susono Civic Centre with all members of the delegation and took a tour bus to see the sights of Susono and local area. We visited the Mount Fuji World Heritage Centre to learn of its history and importance and got to see the famous Mt. Fuji itself in the distance, but sadly we could not climb it this time.

The iconic Mount Fuji skirted by clouds

The next stop was a traditional Japanese temple (Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha) with a rich cultural significance where we got to pray, learn of the temple's history and significance, and be able to see a woman wearing traditional Japanese clothes connected to the history of the temple.

Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha

Sake is an important part of Japanese culture, so it was no surprise when we stopped off at a brewery for the next part of our tour. We were instructed on its history and the method to make sake and store it correctly. At the end of this session we got to witness all the tasting and buying of sake that the adults partook in!

Visiting the sake brewery

By this point in time we were all ready for some lunch, so luckily our next stop was off to an okonomiyaki restaurant where we got to mix our own okonomiyaki and fry them up on the special hotplate which was imbedded into the table to fry up our lunch.

Okonomiyaki restaurant with imbedded hotplates

The last stop on the tour was the Japan Garden Railway, where small mechanical trains are maintained and used for the enjoyment of the public. The garden is generally closed on this day but was especially opened for our group and we got to ride on the trains and a SEGWAY! We all parted ways with smiles on our faces at the end of a wonderfully eventful day.

Group photo at the Japan Garden Railway

At the beginning of the Saturday we got to spend time with our host families and have fun with them in the morning before we went off to the Cultural Centre to prepare for the Australian Fair the next day.

Go Mrs. Bredin!

The day of the Australian Fair had finally arrived, we were all ready and prepped for an upbeat day and an equally great performance. We arrived early to practice a few times and get ready. It was exciting when the people started arriving and looking around the various stalls the association had set up, showcasing different aspects of Australia’s culture. First, a Japanese primary school brass band did an amazing performance. We were intimidated by how good they all were. We performed three times throughout the day, along with the occasional game of cards during an intermission.

Frankston High's clarinet choir performing at the Australian Fair

It was a fantastic day. After it had finished and we cleaned up, we were spoiled with a fabulous Japanese after-party where we listened to taiko drumming, other performances, and many stalls with different Japanese cuisines. And to top it all off at the end of the day we got to experience a Japanese typhoon. It was very tiring, but all worth it, even the typhoon!!!

One of three performances given throughout the day

The day for us to depart from Susono and our host families finally arrived, and they were all sad but hopeful goodbyes to one another as we headed back to Tokyo. We separated from the FSFA delegation and spent our last day in Tokyo reminiscing on the times we spent together in this amazing country and relishing the fact that we were returning to Australia that night.

A study in precision and concentration

It was a superb experience and trip that we all got to spend together, memories and lasting friendships were made and there is no way we will ever forget this for a long time! We would like to thank the Frankston Susono Friendship Association for letting us come and perform in Japan for them and hope that they will continue to ask Frankston High School to perform with them on future trips and festivals.

Frankston High School Clarinet Choir September 2018