San Francisco Cherry Blossom Festival
This year, the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival is celebrating 48 years as one of California’s most prominent celebrations of Asian tradition. Visitors can learn about Japanese culture and the Japanese American Community at the festival, which spans two weekends, April 11-12 and April 18-19.
The festival, which is the second biggest in the country outside of Washington, DC, is held in San Francisco’s Japantown, and features food, dance, and more, all in celebration of the blooming of the cherry blossoms, which are a symbol of peace between Japan and the United States. All events are free to the public, so mark your calendars for this festival!
Each year, hundreds of performers from Japan and California gather to give thousands of visitors a taste of Japanese culture. The festival kicks off with an opening ceremony and announcement of a new US stamp, the “Gifts of Friendship Joint Issue with Japan.” Karate, a children’s Tsumi challenge, and dancing will follow. On April 12 the Cherry Blossom Queen is announced, and visitors can watch Taiko Dojo, Soko Joshi Dojo, and Kempo, among other events.
Highlights of the festival include the Kimono ceremony, where a kimono is given to the Cherry Blossom queen, and Sakura 360, a program that fuses traditional and modern Japanese culture. Sakura 360 mixes Japanese tradition with fashion, gaming, and anime to appeal to a wider audience and bring Japanese culture into the spotlight in multiple areas. A Hello Kitty truck is another new feature for this year, and will appeal to younger visitors.
Former US Ambassador to Japan John V. Roos will be the Grand Marshal, as the festival organizers say he “represents what the heart of this festival is all about—giving through philanthropy and volunteerism in times of great need.”
For San Francisco natives or those visiting the city, the Cherry Blossom Festival is a great way to learn more about the Japanese American population in San Francisco, and about ancient Japanese culture.
Contact Nationwide Limousine Service today at 800-339-8936 to learn more about how you can get transportation to and from the festival, and beat traffic and parking issues.