From the 2009 Cherry Blossom Festival

Welcome to the world of the cherry blossoms (sakura). Few things in nature can equal their delicate beauty. Come celebrate it with us! This spring, from March 5 – April 17, Philadelphia’s beautiful flowering trees will come into bloom for Sakura Matsuri – the Cherry Blossom Festival.

A program of the Japan America Society of Greater Philadephia, the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia is an initiative to encourage a better understanding of the cultural, social, and educational customs of Japan and the United States. For hundreds of years, Japan has been celebrating the beauty of the elegant pink cherry blossom with picnics under the trees accompanied by traditional music and dance. Set under the blossoming canopy of Philadelphia’s cherry trees, our Festival is a chance to experience a centuries-old tradition that celebrates the fleeting splendor of spring like no other. Join tens of thousands in savoring the fruits of Japan’s rich cultural heritage before the flowers fall!

The Festival benefits the JASGP Community Tree Planting Project, which seeks to beautify the Philadelphia landscape by annually planting and maintaining cherry trees in Philadelphia parks. In the spring of 2007, the JASGP finished planting 1,000 cherry trees to supplement the 1,600 flowering trees donated by Japanese government as a gesture of friendship in 1926.

The 2010 Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival will take place from March 5 to April 17– be part of a centuries-old tradition as we bring together the best in Japanese art, cuisine, dance, fashion, flowers, music and much more. Here’s a look at some of the events that the festival will showcase.

Miho Hatori Live – Japan Night at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The 2010 Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival kicks off on March 5 with Japan Night at the Museum of Art featuring Miho Hatori. A veteran of Cibo Matto and the Gorillaz, Miho draws on sources as diverse as hip-hop, Japanese folk, and bossa-nova to create a rich modern blend. Video elements incorporated into the performance will truly draw you into Miho’s imaginative world. Patrons are also invited to tour an exhibit of Japanese display artist, Tabaimo, who draws on the aesthetics of Japanese woodcuts and manga in her video works.
Friday, March 5, sets at 5:45 PM & 7:15 PM
Philadelphia Museum of Art
26th St. & Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19130
Free with Admission

Yamamoto Kyogen

Designated “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO, Kyogen, much like Noh, is a world-renowned form of traditional Japanese theater with a more than 600-year history. The Yamamoto Kyogen Company, on their debut U.S. tour, will feature two plays that are unique to the Okura School of Kyogen. Sponsored by the Japan Society.
Wednesday, March 24, 7:30 PM
Hall of Flags, University of Pennsylvania
3451 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
$8 General Admission / $5 Penn students and card holders

Sakura Social

Come out to Society Hill’s newest hot spot, The Headhouse, for great beer, food, and people. Hosted by Madame Saito and Bruce Nichols, founder of Philly Beer Week, this new addition to the Festival is a great opportunity to network or just socialize with others interested in Japan. Beer provided by Kirin. Check back soon for further details and online registration.
Friday, March 26, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
The Headhouse
122 Lombard Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
$40 JASGP members/$45 non-members
Registration required. Limited seating.

Traditional Japanese Tea Demonstration at Morris Arboretum

Join us for the simple yet elegant ritual of the Japanese tea ceremony. The ceremony will incorporate “Sado which is the traditional etiquette of preparing and drinking tea when entertaining guests. Weather permitting this demonstration will be outside. Free with admission.
Saturday, April 10, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania
100 E. Northwestern Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118
Free with Morris Arboretum admission

Amateur Sushi Contest

Who has the best original sushi creation in Philadelphia? Judges will evaluate contestants’ entries and prizes will be awarded. Spectators can watch the sushi being made while enjoying sushi and sake. Hosted by Madame Saito, sushi-making instructor at Temple University.

Contestant price includes a preparatory class on April 1, 6:30 PM at Le Champignon de Tokio, 124 Lombard Street, 215-922-2515
Co-Sponsored by Temple University
Thursday, April 8, 6:30 PM
The Pyramid Club
1735 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, 52nd Floor
$10 for spectators/$45 for contestants (includes all materials)

Sake Fest 2010

Sake Fest 2010
Presented by and Event Navigators

Wednesday 14 April 2010
Admission: $59.50 online, $69.50 at the door

(Adults 21 & older only)

The Only Event of it’s Kind in the Region!

* Experience dozens of Saké varieties
* Taste the Finest Japanese & US brands
* Witness the Versatility of Saké
* Learn how to pair Saké with any food
Loews Philadelphia Hotel – Philadelphia
April 14 | 6:00pm – 8:30pm

Swarthmore Taiko Drummers at Morris Arboretum

Music & Dance in the Garden: This unique group will perform traditional and traditionally based new works in Japanese style drumming. Always a favorite of the arboretum, the audience will also be invited to experience playing the drums at the end of the program. Free with admission.
Saturday, April 17, 1:00 pm -2:00 pm
Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania
100 E. Northwestern Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118
Free with Morris Arboretum admission

Japanese Elements Garden Tour at Morris Arboretum

This tour highlights the Japanese influence on many areas at the Arboretum, featuring the Hill Garden, the Rock Garden in the Fernery and the Overlook Garden. Free with admission.
Saturday, April 17, 2:00 pm
Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania
100 E. Northwestern Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118
Free with Morris Arboretum admission

2010 Festival Gala

Presented by Continental Airlines, the 2010 Festival Gala is an elegant evening affair to welcome the spring time in high style with cocktails & sushi, a silent auction, a sake barrel breaking ceremony, dinner, and live music from Crosstown Traffic. Proceeds benefit the Japan America Society’s Community Cherry Tree Planting Project and the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia.

When: Saturday, April 17, 2010
Where: Please Touch Museum (Memorial Hall)
4231 Avenue of the Republic
Philadelphia, PA 19131
Dress code: Black Tie or Traditional Japanese Dress

The Main Attraction of the festival by far is Sakura Sunday on April 11th. It features a performance by the Japanese pop punk band UZUHI, martial arts demonstrations, origami & calligraphy stations, a Japanese Food Court, Tamagawa Taiko Drums & Dance, an appearance by Japan’s Cherry Blossom Queen, and so much more. The Event also opens up with a special Cherry Blossom 5K Run. To learn more about the overall festival, check out even more featured events, and purchase tickets, checks out the festivals website.

Community The Japan American Society of Greater Philadelphia Presents The Subaru Cherry Blossom...