Cherry Blossom Festival

San Francisco, April 

This year Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival is held every year over two week-ends in April in San Francisco.


Created in 1967, SF Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates Japanese culture and traditions. It's said to be the 2nd largest after the National Cherry Blossom Festival held in Washington DC.

In 1912, to enhance the relationships between Japan and the USA, Tokyo's mayor donated 3000 Japanese Cherry trees to the city of Washington DC, as a symbol for their "blooming" friendship. The trees were planted in Potomac Park. The first festival was launched a few years later in 1935 to commemorate this event. 

Less known than Washington DC's festival, SF Cherry Blossom Festival is held every year in Japantown, when the cherry trees have already bloomed (they are usually in bloom mid-march).

During 2 week-ends, streets around Japan Center, between Post and Buchanan, are transformed into a giant live stage with costumed performers, dancers and singers and experts in martial art (karaté, kendo, aïkido, judo…).

Many exhibits and demonstrations are organised during the Festival, from tea ceremonies to ikebana (flower arranging), Japanese food tastings, calligraphy, origami, bonsai…


On Sunday, a Japanese style parade of singers, dancers, modern-dau samourais, ladies in kimonos... will take place, going from Civic Center up to Japan Center, at the corner of Post and Fillmore streets.


Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival

Japantown, San Francisco

April 12 to April 20, 2014

Program of the 2014 Festival