Sakura Sunday Celebrates Philadelphia’s Cherry Blossoms

April 12, 2017
Travel

Tamagawa University dancers take to the stage in Philadelphia. Every year, people gather in Philadelphia's Shofuso in Fairmount Park for Sakura Sunday to celebrate Japanese culture and picnic under the cherry blossoms!

Tulips and daffodils are sure signs of spring. But so far cherry blossoms! What started as a Japanese tradition of picnicking under the blossoming cherry trees has been adopted internationally as a rite of passage each spring. Cities around the world are now celebrating spring by hosting celebrations under the cherry blossoms. Philadelphia is no different. Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia hosts a week long celebration in honor of those pretty flowering trees. The final event of the cherry blossom week is Sakura Sunday in Fairmount Park. And this year’s Sakura Sunday was bigger and better than ever!

Tamagawa University dancers take to the stage in Philadelphia. Every year, people gather in Philadelphia's Shofuso in Fairmount Park for Sakura Sunday to celebrate Japanese culture and picnic under the cherry blossoms!

Tamagawa University dancers take to the stage in Philadelphia. Every year, people gather in Philadelphia's Shofuso in Fairmount Park for Sakura Sunday to celebrate Japanese culture and picnic under the cherry blossoms!

Kicking off at ten in the morning, Sakura Sunday is a day-long event. There are events that run throughout the day. There’s a cosplay showcase and a harajuku fashion show. For me, the highlight was the Tamagawa University Taiko Drum & Dance group from Japan. The group are well prepared and very precise, not to mentioning incredibly entertaining!

This year’s schedule also included a calligraphy workshop, a kimono dressing workshop and an origami workshop. For families, they had martial arts demonstrations and face painting. Visitors can also tour Shofuso Japanese House and Gardens, too. There are also lots of attendees that come in cosplay costumes. There’s a festive spirit all around.

Every year, people gather in Philadelphia's Shofuso in Fairmount Park for Sakura Sunday to celebrate Japanese culture and picnic under the cherry blossoms!

Every year, people gather in Philadelphia's Shofuso in Fairmount Park for Sakura Sunday to celebrate Japanese culture and picnic under the cherry blossoms!

For anyone looking to soak in some Japanese culture, Sakura Sunday has plenty of opportunities. But if you just want to enjoy a nice day outside, you can. Attendees to Sakura Sunday can bring a picnic and have lunch on the grounds of Fairmount Park under the blossoming cherry trees.

The event is great for families: the entire family. Dogs are welcome, too! There’s a Prettiest Pet In Pink competition. We brought our dog, George. After all those sumo tournaments that we’ve been watching, my husband made George a shimenawa belt to wear. Eat your heart out, Yokozuna Harumafuji!

Even George, the miniature schnauzer loves cherry blossoms. Every year, people gather in Philadelphia's Shofuso in Fairmount Park for Sakura Sunday to celebrate Japanese culture and picnic under the cherry blossoms!

There are also a fair number of vendors selling things like food, toys, and so on. There are a shops selling kimonos and other Japanese cultural items. But the Japanese food options were rather limited. I’d love to see more options in the future.

Attending Sakura Sunday

A couple of years ago, I attended Sakura Sunday. It was a lot of fun but it was really crowded. What’s more, there were no cherry trees in bloom. This year, we went early and brought a picnic. That’s the way to go! Unfortunately, Sakura Sunday is over for this year. But the cherry trees are still in bloom. Get out there and enjoy them. And be sure to mark your calendar for 2018!

Tamagawa University dancers take to the stage in Philadelphia. Every year, people gather in Philadelphia's Shofuso in Fairmount Park for Sakura Sunday to celebrate Japanese culture and picnic under the cherry blossoms!

Tamagawa University taiko drummers take to the stage in Philadelphia. Every year, people gather in Philadelphia's Shofuso in Fairmount Park for Sakura Sunday to celebrate Japanese culture and picnic under the cherry blossoms!

All photos are my own.

  • Obligatory Traveler

    Definitely going to try to make this in 2018. Really wanted to go this year, but already had a full weekend.

    • It’s a really fun day for the whole family (including four-legged members 🙂 ). The performances are my favorite part.