The National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the friendship the USA has with Japan; it’s only natural that Japanese events be featured during the festival. The Japanese events are held in a Street Festival. This Street Festival allows us to have a glimpse into the culture and world of the Japanese people. The Street Festival highlights current popular culture from Japan also. The first festival was held in 1961 and is now the largest one-day exhibition of Japanese culture in the United States. The event lasts 7 hours and can draw a crowd of up to 140,000 visitors.
Visitors to the Sakura Matsuri-Japanese Street Festival can expect to see a completely family friendly event. There will be over 15 vendors of Japanese food, two beer gardens, 30 exhibitors of Japanese art and culture, 15 vendors of Japanese products, and over 30 hours of live performances on five stages. The performances include traditional and current Japanese music, dance, and martial arts demonstrations.
This year is the 49th annual Japan-American Society of Washington DC Sakura Matsuri- Japanese Street Festival. This festival takes place on Saturday, April 4, 2009 from 11:00-6:00pm. This year features sushi, origami, sumo, sake, arts, crafts, anime, manga, j-pop music, traditional dances, taiko drums and more. The festival is free and there is something for every member of the family to enjoy.
There are main areas in the Sakura Matsuri and five live performance stages also.
Arts and Crafts offer a glimpse into Japan’s traditional culture.
J-POP Land offers a glimpse into Japanese current popular culture which includes such things as anime, manga, J-POP music, and Dance Dance Revolution.
Taste of Japan offers 15 Japanese and Asian restaurants and two Kirin Beer Gardens in addition to a Hakutsuru sake tasting area.
Ginza Marketplace offers Japanese and other such products for sale.
There are also performances to enjoy during the street festival. There are five live performance stages.
Pennsylvania Avenue Stage features Japanese traditional music and dance, koto, and taiko drums all sponsored by All Nippon Airways and WASH-FM.
Martial Arts Stage features aikdo, jujitsu, sumo, karate, kendo, and kyudo.
12th Street Stage features “Super Karaoke”
J-POP Stage features popular music and anime from Japan.
Constitution Avenue Stage features performers from southern Japan.
For additional information about the festival visit the following website, www.sakuramatsuri.org