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29th Annual Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival: May 1 and 2, 2010
by Kate Blumm
April 25, 2010

Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s peerless collection of more than 200 Japanese flowering cherry trees—the most diverse array outside Japan—creates an explosion of blossoms in spring worthy of a major celebration. Over the course of its 29-year history, the Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival (May 1 and 2, 2010) has evolved into one of the city’s most anticipated weekend events, as tens of thousands of visitors come to experience two days of the best of both traditional and contemporary Japanese arts and culture, including dance, martial arts, manga, costume play (“cosplay”), workshops, demonstrations, and guided tours of the Garden’s Japanese-inspired plant collections.

Among the more than 60 events and performances on the schedule for 2010 are a host of new features, including a performance by COBU, combining intense tap footwork with taiko drumming; a powerful and artistic karate demonstration by grand master Kaicho T. Nakamura and World Seido Karate; and a book signing with Maki Kaji, widely known as the godfather of sudoku.

The Sakura J-Lounge has been expanded this year to incorporate even more manga, anime, and cosplay culture—including a “high tea” for the Victorian maidens and boho Bo-Peeps; a para para party with New York’s best anime dancers; and a stunning fashion show that demonstrates how creative cosplay can be.

Festival hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 1, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 2. All activities take place rain or shine, with indoor locations provided for most activities in the event of rain. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and students with ID; kids under 12 are admitted free of charge. Admission fees will be charged all weekend, including Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. (On all Saturdays without scheduled public programs, the Garden will continue to extend free admission from 10 a.m. to noon.)

For more information on BBG’s flowering cherries and Hanami events, please visit

  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row