11th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival at Balboa Park

The Cherry Blossom Festival at the Japanese Friendship Garden in San Diego is an annual celebration of spring and Japanese culture. Now it ints eleventh year, this iconic tradition is a great way to enjoy the beautiful cherry blossoms at the park. There will also be an variety of cultural performances, authentic Japanese street food, one-of-a-kind crafts and gifts and a Beer & Sake garden! This year’s Festival will be held March 5th and 6th. 

Celebrate the arrival of spring and the blooming of Balboa Park’s beloved cherry trees with cultural performances, Japanese street food, unique local vendors, and a children’s corner or by spending time in the beer and tea gardens. Guests are welcome to participate in Hanami, the traditional custom of picnicking under the cherry trees.

The Japanese Friendship Garden is the result of a longstanding friendship between San Diego and its Japanese sister city, Yokohama. The Garden’s design is based on centuries-old Japanese techniques that have been adapted to San Diego’s climate and seeks to provide a respite from everyday life through Japanese simplicity, serenity, and aestheticism.

The Garden was first opened in 1991 and sits on a total of twelve acres. It offers a variety of educational programs, exhibits, and festivals as well as accredited horticultural classes throughout the year. As a valued community resource, it’s most well known for its unique setting, stone arrangements, koi ponds, water features, and traditional sukiya-style buildings.

The Garden’s most recent remodel, which was completed last year, added an additional nine acres – including a grove of 200 cherry trees, a large azalea and camellia garden, and the state-of-the-art Inamori Pavilion, a multi-purpose room for lectures, exhibitions and weddings. Among other traditional elements, the Pavilion notably utilizes Alaskan Yellow Cedar; an expensive wood that’s typically used in Japanese buildings because of its strength and ability to withstand the elements.

For more information on the Cherry Blossom Festival, visit niwa.org.

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