As Japan’s national flower, cherry blossoms are sometimes offered as a symbol of friendship to other nations. In spring, cherry blossoms are also said to remind people of the paradoxically fleeting, yet enduring nature of life. In honor of the 150th anniversary of American independence and as a gesture of goodwill, the Japanese government donated 1,600 cherry trees and other flowering trees to the City of Philadelphia in 1926. Each year, Philadelphia locals and newcomers alike venture out to the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival to celebrate the start of spring and Japanese culture, while admiring the fragile pink blossoms of 1,000 cherry trees.
Special Attractions and Events
From April 1 to 9, 2017, guests can experience this unique Philadelphia event with Japanese music, art, food, and culture without traveling across the world. Admission to most events is free, with the exception of the Sakura Sunday Festival at the conclusion of the festival. Sakura Sunday is a day-long celebration of Japanese culture and cherry blossoms held at the Horticulture Center in West Fairmount Park. Admission costs $15 per ticket, and children 12 years old and under are free.
Events throughout the week include:
- Martial arts demonstrations
- Ikebana flower arranging
- Silent auction
- Live musical and dance performances
- Arts and crafts
- Little Akiba
- Tours of Shofuo
- Cherry Blossom 5K
- Ceremonial drumming
- Fashion show
- Traditional tea ceremony
- Sakura Under the Stars
Philadelphia cherry trees can be found in various locations around the city:
A: Horticultural Center: trees from JASGP plantings and the original 1926 plantings
B: Memorial Hallon: Lansdown Drive, behind Memorial Hall
C: Belmont Plateau: along Belmont Mansion Drive, overlooking the city
D: West River/Martin Luther King Jr.: Driven from south of Montgomery Drive north to Falls Bridge
E: Kelly Drive: north of Boathouse Row along the river
F: Art Museum/Waterworks: between the museum and the waterworks
While you’re making a day out of this unique Philadelphia event, be sure to stop by Geno’s to grab a bite of all-American, authentic Philly cheesesteaks. We’re open 24/7! Visit here for more event information.