It’s never really spring without Sakura Matsuri, Brooklyn Botanical Garden’s cherry blossom festival. These beautiful trees show off their flowers for only a single week every year, creating a breathtaking spectacle enhanced in beauty only by its evanescence. Every year during this event, Sakura Matsuri explores and celebrates both traditional and contemporary Japanese culture with a showcase of Japan’s greatest trends from throughout history. The two day even includes over 60 performances, ranging from dance shows to panels discussing the finer points of cosplay. Taiko drum concerts and comedy routines create a constant atmosphere of fun as attendees wander amongst the cherry blossoms in traditional Japanese kimonos, Harajuku girl outfits, and the costumes of their favorite characters from Japanese anime and manga. Learn about the Japanese process and tradition of flower arranging or visit the gardens various trees and discover the process behind their pruning and care.
Attendants looking for a challenge can compete in popular Japanese games like Shogi and Go or learn to draw in the style of manga, while those who are looking for a unique purchase can visit the Japanese Market, Tea Center, or Art Gallery where traditionally inspired clothing, drinks, and paintings can be found at an assortment of stores specializing in Japanese culture. A book and zine section will also offer guests the chance to pick up the latest issue of their favorite manga or Japanese magazine and book signings bring contemporary authors face to face with their fans.
Whether you are coming to take in the view and shows or to participate in the cultural exchange encouraged by the festival, Sakura Matsuri offers something for everyone. Don you best kimono or happi and wander between the ephemeral cherry blossoms at New York’s annual rite of spring.