This year, the annual cherry blossom festival isn’t just about looking at pretty flowers. And it’s not just about traditional kimonos and samurai that one might imagine, either.
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s annual celebration of all things cherry will also feature performances by Japanese pop stars and DJs, and a panel discussion with the country’s best anime voice actors. It’s a fusion of new and old, with a pretty pink-and-white background!
The two-day festival, held May 2-3, is the main celebration for the season (the Japanese call it “hanami”) when the beautiful pink buds begin to make their appearance. Hanami started this year on April 4.
If you don’t go for the festival (officially known as “Sakura Matsuri”), go for the flowers, since the Garden has the largest and most diverse collection of flowering cherries in one place anywhere outside of Japan.
Better still, you can plan your trip practically to the bud, thanks to the Garden’s CherryWatch map, which shows the status of the cherry blossom trees in their blooming progression. Check to make sure you visit before the show is over!
“Sakura Matsuri” at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden [900 Washington Ave. at Eastern Parkway in Prospect Heights, (718) 623-7200], May 2-3, 10 am to 6 pm. Admission is $12 ($6 seniors and students; free for children younger than 12). For info, visit www.bbg.org.