The 2018 Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Philadelphia kicked off last week and culminates with Sakura Sunday this weekend. It’s the main event of the festival and celebrates Japanese cultural from all angles, from food and drink to music and dance. Presented by the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia, festivities run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Here are five things you can’t miss at Sakura Sunday 2018.
1. Sake Garden
A new addition to the festival this year is the Sake Garden, presented by the people who bring you Parks on Tap. It is described as a beer garden with Asian fusion eats, beer and sake-infused cocktails, located right outside of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden. We’re pretty excited about the plum sake mule ($9) and the Sir Charles cherry cider ($7) on the menu.
In Japan, picnicking under the cherry trees actually has its own word: ohanami and picnic goers enjoy food like onigiri (a ball of rice wrapped in seaweed paper that’s a popular finger food), takeout sushi and bento boxes. To properly execute your ohanami, general manager of Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia, Kim Andrews, suggests making a pit stop at Maido Japanese Grocery in Ardmore. “Picnicking under the cherry blossoms offers another meaningful way to enjoy the temporal beauty of the blossoms and to celebrate spring,” she says.
3. Live Music
If you’re a music fan and eager to expand your listening to international sounds, taiko drummers and dancers from Tamagawa University will be headlining on the main stage. There were also be the band, The Molice, a Japanese pop act that’s inspired by new wave, power pop and 90’s indie rock. You also can’t miss KuroPOP perform, an all-female cover band from New York City.
4. Little Akiba Anime & Cosplay Area
If you’re a comic con kind of person, you definitely need to check out Little Akiba, which is the epicenter for everything pop culture in Japan. There will be a fashion show, live music and karaoke going on the whole time with a DJ. People who enjoy cosplay are encouraged to dress up as their favorite anime characters.
5. Prettiest Pet in Pink Parade
National Pet Day was only a few days ago, but your furry friend can bask in the spotlight once again at the Prettiest Pet in Pink Parade. Be sure to keep him or her on a leash, though. Don’t have an adorable pet to dress up in pink? Simply go to watch, and combat the Sunday scaries by getting lost in cuteness.
If you go:
Sunday, April 15
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Horticulture Center, Fairmount Park
100 N. Horticultural Dr.