Saturday, April 25 and Sunday, April 26 from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden – 150 Eastern Parkway & 900 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn
Admission: $25 adults/$20 seniors and students/Free children under 12 and BBG members
Popularly considered New York’s rite of spring and the nation’s largest event in a public garden, Sakura Matsuri features performances, demonstrations, and exhibits that showcase the best of traditional and contemporary Japanese culture. In recent years, Sakura Matsuri has attracted one of the largest, most colorful audiences for any cultural event in the city.
The two-day festival makes use of the entire expanse of Brooklyn Botanic Garden, from the Cherry Esplanade, to Osborne Garden, to Magnolia Plaza, to the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, and to the Rotunda. The library, the Steinhardt Conservatory, and the visitor center will also offer a taste of the festival.
There is something for everyone of all ages and with any interest in the vast treasure trove of Japanese culture. For those who prefer traditional arts, BBG offers demonstrations in tea ceremony, woodblock printing, and ikebana (flower arranging); Nihon Buyo (classical dance) and taiko drumming performances; and incense, wagashi, and vintage kimonos for sale. Take in the bonsai exhibit or stroll through the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden.
BBG will once again have its J-Lounge in Osborne Garden with a program specifically geared toward “Manga and Geek Culture,” with renowned cosplayer and video game aficionado Charles Battersby chatting with panelists Ann Milana, Lady Ava, Mink-the-Satyr, and Uncle Yo about Beginner Cosplay Crafting. Oh, and cosplaying is very much encouraged!
If you love Japanese subculture, you won’t want to miss the BBG Parasol Society Fashion Show featuring live music by the Hanami Ensemble. Enjoy the spectacle of Tokyo goth gals, Victorian maidens, and boho Bo-Peeps on the main stage.
The full event schedule is available at BBG’s website, where you can also purchase advance tickets.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden is one of several places where you can enjoy cherry blossoms in New York City. Check out our guide to blossoms in the boroughs.