Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Sakura Matsuri
Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28 from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden – 150 Eastern Parkway and 990 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn
Admission: $30/$25 Seniors and Students/Free Children 12 and under (with ticketholder) and BBG members
New York’s rite of spring and the nation’s largest event in a public garden, BBG’s Sakura Matsuri features performances, demonstrations, and exhibits that showcase the best of traditional and contemporary Japanese culture. There will be more than 60 events and performances that will satisfy people with any interest in Japan, from tea ceremonies and ikebana to manga workshops. A variety of Japanese-related goods will be on sale as well.
Some of the highlights include performances from Samurai Sword Soul, martial arts masters; Pinky Doodle Poodle, a high-energy, female-fronted punky rock band from Japan; The Molie, indie rockers from Tokyo; and several jazz groups.
Japanese sub-culture fans will enjoy the J-pop-related workshops and performances at the J-Lounge in the Family Plant Collection. Brooklyn-based manga artist Misako Rocks! will have Kawaii and Sugoi manga workshops, there will be an anime game show hosted by Charles Battersby, and Jed Henry will display his llustrations blending video game characters with Edo-era art traditions.
For those whose interests lie in the more traditional forms of Japanese culture, Dancejapan with Sachiyo Ito will perform elegant Kabuki dances; the Japanese Folk Dance Institute of NY will present authentic Minbu folk dances from around Japan; and Soh Daiko and Taiko Masala will have taiko drumming performances on stage. There will also be tea ceremonies throughout the day, as well as bonsai and origami displays.
Of course, the real stars of this two-day event are the cherry blossoms. Bring a blanket, buy a bento, and find a spot to picnic under the sakura, which should be in first bloom this weekend. Check BBG’s Cherrywatch to keep track of the blossoms.
Keep in mind as you stroll through the Japanese Garden that a section of the path is closed while a new koshikake-machiai (a waiting area for tea ceremony guests) is installed.
To enter the Garden, you must purchase a ticket in advance. For a compete schedule of events and to purchase tickets, please visit Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s website.
Featured image of Samurai Sword Soul by Julie Markes from BBG’s website.