Eight Great Ways To Experience The Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival Of Greater Philadelphia, April 7-15

Celebrate spring and Japanese culture at exciting events all across the city...

As the cherry blossom trees begin to bloom and brighten the city, the annual Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia arrives to celebrate Japanese culture and art.

The festival, which runs from April 7 to 15, showcases the beauty and splendor of Japan’s cultural traditions and rich history at events all across the city. Curious about kabuki dancing, sushi making, tea ceremonies or another compelling aspect of Japanese culture? Explore it all during the Cherry Blossom Festival.

CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL FAST FACTS

  • The Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia runs from April 7 to 15.
  • Events celebrating Japanese culture are held all across the city.
  • Highlights include sushi-making classes, traditional tea ceremonies, a new sake garden pop-up and more.
  • Sakura Sunday, the centerpiece of the festival, takes place April 15 in Fairmount Park.

The nine-day celebration culminates at Sakura Sunday, where attendees can enjoy Japanese food and drink, live music, dance performances, arts and crafts, martial arts demonstrations and more beneath hundreds of blooming cherry blossom trees at the Fairmount Park Horticulture Center.

Check out all of our Cherry Blossom Festival event picks, below.

Sakura Week and The Sake Garden at the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden

Exterior of Shofuso Japanese House and Garen in springPhoto courtesy Shofuso Japanese House and Garden

During Sakura Week at the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, visitors can learn more about kabuki dancing, kimono dressing, ryakubon tea ceremonies and more facets of Japanese culture. New this year, The Sake Garden — a pop up from Parks on Tap inspired by traditional Japanese cherry blossom picnics — serves beer, Asian fusion bites and sake cocktails like a pomegranate green tea cocktail with sake.

Sakura Week and The Sake Garden at the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden

When:Sakura Week, April 7-13; Sake Garden, April 7-15
Where:Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, Lansdowne & Horticultural drives
Cost:Included with general admission: $12, adults; $8, students with college ID, seniors and children ages 6-17; $2: ACCESS Cardholders with photo ID; free for members, children under 5 and active duty military ID holder plus five family members

www.subarucherryblossom.org

Sushi-Making Classes

Madame Saito, a local arbiter of Japanese culture and a skilled sushi chef, will teach classes on the art of sushi making at Tokio HeadHouse from April 7 to 11. Ambitious students can show off their new skills at two special events: an amateur sushi-making competition at Tokio HeadHouse (Thursday, April 12) or the Subaru Sushi Samurai of the Year Contest on Sakura Sunday (Sunday, April 15).

Sushi-Making Classes

When:April 7-11, 6:30 p.m.; Contest: Thursday, April 12, 6:30 p.m.
Where:Tokio HeadHouse, 122-124 Lombard Street
Cost:Classes: $65; Contest: $50, contestants, $35, guests

www.subarucherryblossom.org

Film Screening: Tenshin (2013)

The biopic Tenshin examines the life of Kakuzo Okakura, the 19th-century artist and scholar responsible for the widespread international recognition of Japanese art. Learn more about Okakura's struggle to protect and preserve the Japanese and Asian artistic aesthetic in the face of opposing Western influences at a special screening of the film on Wednesday, April 11 at the University of Pennsylvania.

Film Screening: Tenshin (2013)

When:Wednesday, April 11
Where:University of Pennsylvania, Annenberg Room 111, 3620 Walnut Street
Cost:Free

www.subarucherryblossom.org

Kaiseki Dinner

On Friday, April 13, Margaret Kuo's - Wayne hosts a kaiseki dinner featuring Japanese culinary staples elegantly presented in the Japanese-style Akari Room. This traditional, multi-course meal includes a demonstration of a tea ceremony and a sake toast.

Kaiseki Dinner

When:Friday, April 13, 7 p.m.
Where:Margaret Kuo's - Wayne, 175 Lancaster Avenue, Wayne
Cost:$75 plus tax and gratuity

www.subarucherryblossom.org

The Cherry Blossom 5K and 10K

Cherry Blossom 10k and 5k race runners in Fairmount ParkPhoto by Shaun Reilly Photography

Get those steps in as Fairmount Park's cherry blossom trees reach peak bloom during the Cherry Blossom 5K and 10K on Saturday, April 14. The scenic courses weave through the park's historic, cherry blossom tree-lined Centennial District. In addition to getting a healthy start to their morning, runners and walkers get a free admission pass to Shofuso Japanese House and Garden.

The Cherry Blossom 5K and 10K

When:Saturday April 14, 6:30 a.m.
Where:Races start at Fairmount Park Horticulture Center, 100 N. Horticultural Drive
Cost:$20-$35

www.subarucherryblossom.org

Nodate Tea Ceremony

Sip on a bowl of delicious matcha tea underneath a blooming weeping cherry tree at the Nodate Tea Ceremony. This special, open-air tea ceremony is unlike a typical tea ceremony because it's conducted outside and incorporates nature. Experience the ritual on April 14 at the lovely Shofuso Japanese House and Garden.

Nodate Tea Ceremony

When:Saturday, April 14, 1 p.m.
Where:Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, Lansdowne and Horticultural drives
Cost:$30, Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia members; $35, non-members

www.shofuso.com

Cherry Blossom Festival Events at Morris Arboretum

Guided tours of Morris Arboretum's cherry trees and other Japanese elements occur on both Saturdays during the festival, along with performances by the local community taiko group Kyo Daiko. On April 7, special festival programming includes a kenjutsu Japanese sword demonstration and a ryurei-style tea ceremony. On April 14, guests can learn how to make origami cranes and enjoy a kimono demonstration.

Cherry Blossom Festival Events at Morris Arboretum

When:April 7 & 14
Where:Morris Arboretum, 100 E. Northwestern Avenue
Cost:Included with general admission: $19, adults; $17, seniors (age 65+); $10, students with college ID, active and retired military with ID and children ages 3-17; free for members, PennCard holders and children under age 3

www.morrisarboretum.org

Sakura Sunday

Performers on stage and crowd at Sakura SundayPhoto by Basel Almisshal

The tentpole event of the whole festival, Sakura Sunday brings crowds to West Fairmount Park for traditional music and dance performances, a sushi-making contest, a harajuko fashion show and more Japanese cultural demonstrations. Take it all in among hundreds of gorgeous pink and white blooming cherry trees from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 15.

Sakura Sunday

When:Sunday, April 15
Where:Fairmount Park Horticulture Center, 100 N. Horticultural Drive
Cost:$15, adults; free, children age 12 and under

www.subarucherryblossom.org

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