Cherry blossoms are one of the best harbingers of Spring. With the great rain we’ve had, the trees are starting to bloom. There are Cherry Blossom Festivals throughout the country and the trees and festival in Washington DC are the biggest and most famous. The Cherry Blossom Festival here in San Francisco is the second largest in the country and more fun, in my opinion.
Over two weekends, you can explore Japanese culture, both old and new. There are taiko drums, tea ceremonies and Japanese Classical Dance for those who love tradition. For the modernists, live anime characters walk through the festival. The latest music movies and fashion from Japan are on display.
The food is amazing. Familiar items like sushi and tempura can easily be found. Noodle lovers have great options with some of the best Ramen, Udon and Soba in the city. Save room for the wagashi, desserts.
The grand parade begins at 13:00 on the last day, Sunday, April 21st in Civic Center in front of City Hall and procedes to the heart of Japantown. You can enjoy the festival in Japantown both weekends. My personal favourite is the origami exhibit. Folding paper into more complex times than airplanes seems intimidating but the lessons are easy and fun.