Sakura in the City

Each spring the Japanese anticipate the arrival of sakura (cherry blossoms), as the flowers represent rebirth and renewal while reminding us how precious and fleeting life can be.

It’s almost time for cherry blossom viewing in Tokyo. Japan National Tourism Organization posted a map from the Japan Weather Association, which predicts the first bloom of the iconic flower in the capital city today, and the trees should reach full bloom by April 6.

A few blossoms are open along the Kanda River near the Tokyo neighborhood of Ochanomizu. Storefronts in the Ginza, Tokyo’s prime shopping area, contain beautiful displays of blossoms.

cherry blossoms, sakura, tokyo, nyc

cherry blossoms, sakura, tokyo, nyc

cherry blossoms, sakura, tokyo, nyc

cherry blossoms, sakura, tokyo, nyc

New York is gearing up for the cherry blossoms as well.

Japan Society, in conjunction with The Japan Foundation, is presenting a sakura-themed program lasting six weeks that includes kabuki performances and film screenings. The series concludes on April 14 with j-CATION, a twelve-hour festival highlighting Japanese culture.

The Sakura Cherry Blossom Festival in Sakura Park in Harlem is also on April 14. Celebrating the 100th anniversary of Japan’s gift of cherry blossom trees to New York, the event will begin with a formal ceremony followed by a concert featuring Japanese and American musicians.

Hanami, Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s month-long program of enjoying the BBG’s many species of cherry trees, culminates in the annual Sakura Matsuri Festival on April 28 and 29.