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Corowa isn't really a tourist destination, and it's among Australia's less visited places. Travelers passing through the area most often stick to more well-known destinations. Have you been to Corowa? Help us improve this Corowa travel guide by adding your favorite spots!
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Cowra is noted for its historical and natural attractions, the magnificent Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre, quality restaurants, wineries, galleries, craft shops and horse riding. The public identity of the town has become bound up with the Cowra breakout of 1944 (in which Japanese prisoners of war attempted to escape from a local camp during World War II) and the subsequent association with Japan. This history has led the town to focus on and promote the values of pacifism and internationalism, which are at the centre of the annual Festival of Understanding. Interestingly, the many Italian POWs were, for the most part, cheerful and cooperative and worked agreeably outside the camp while the Japanese POWs were surly, difficult and resentful. Attempts at employing them outside the camp had proved a failure due to their aggressive behaviour. Their lack of cooperation and the breakout itself arose from an overwhelming sense of shame engendered by a code of honour which viewed capture as a disgrace to themselves, their families and their country. Japanese soldiers were supposed to commit suicide rather than be humiliated by the subservience implicit in imprisonment. Indeed most of the prisoners were taken when they were too weak to offer resistance or they were merchant seamen scooped from the waters. They gave false names as they felt news of their capture would shame their families while the Japanese authorities reported all those missing in action as dead. When informed of the deaths during the breakout, the Japanese authorities asserted that those killed must have been Japanese civilians as, it contended, there was no such thing as a Japanese POW. When the internees returned many felt their 'shame' would render them unworthy of return to Japanese society (some expected to be executed) and half did not tell their families they had been POWs. A number of annual events grace the Cowra calendar. The Festival of Understanding (which features a different guest nation each year) is held in March, the Cowra Picnic Races and the Cowra Wine Show in July, the Cowra Show in late September, Sakura Matsui (the Cherry Blossom Festival) in early October, and, at the visitors' centre in November, the Art and Craft exhibition and Rose Fair.
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Jen
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Definitely stop by the museum dedicated to the war.  It's fascinating and when I was there the lovely man at the front desk let us play with all the old guns!  It made for some fantastic pictures...
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Jen C. wrote a tip on Corowa
5 years ago
Definitely stop by the museum dedicated to the war.  It's fascinating and when I.. (More)
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