Did any of you get to go to the Sakura Matsuri last weekend at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden?! If not, have no fear! I’ll show you every wonderful thing you missed and you’ll be promising yourself to go next year hahaa~ ;D
I was a bit worried that the weather wouldn’t warm up in time for the cherry blossoms to bloom, but it was actually perfect over the weekend. I honestly couldn’t have asked for better (as you can see in the pics)! I think it was a little bit pricey–the food especially ($6 for a hotdog was the cheapest thing you could get… $8 for a basic onigiri!! What in the world?! ;o We couldn’t believe it!), so I definitely encourage you to eat beforehand or bring a picnic when you go. c:
Despite that, it was a lovely festival. There were many Japanese events on various stages throughout the grounds, with performances such as Taiko Drumming, J-Music Ensemble, Sohenryu Tea Ceremony, Japanese Folk Dance, a Samurai Sword Drama, Stand-up Comic, a live Ukiyo-e Illustration Demonstration, and more. In the Osborne Garden, long tables were set up for festivalgoers to play the game of Go, an abstract strategy game that was invented in China more than 2,500 years ago.
There was also a market filled with Japanese goodies like vintage kimonos, chocolate and other seasonal confections, kakeshi dolls, art, books, adorable sushi pillows, and kawaii J-fashion accessories that you would love! 😀 My fiancé was very tempted to buy artist Jed Henry’s ukiyo-e illustrations of modern video game characters, especially his Dark Souls print (look him up here–such amazing talent! ^^).
There were also a ton of activities for kids, such as samurai and ninja cutouts (which we also had fun with of course, ahaha~), a tea-making workshop, “vaudeville origami” show, and a taiko drumming masterclass for children–jealous!!
Even if you don’t go to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden during the Sakura Matsuri, you’ll still have a magical time. The torii (traditional Japanese gate found at the entrance of Shinto shrines) seems to be a permanent fixture in the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, which of course was a perfect setting for this festival. Though we didn’t get to this time around, you could easily spend a day there checking out the museum, visitor center, and conservatory as well.
I hope you’re all enjoying this cherry blossom season–until next time! Sayonara!