Eat your heart out, DC. While our nation’s capital has hosted the National Cherry Blossom Festival for nearly 100 years, Philadelphia’s has grown into quite a lineup in less than 20.
With a karaoke party at Yakitori Boy tomorrow, the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia (JASGP) kicks off the 2014 Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival, two week’s worth of events building up to Sakura Sunday, the central event hosted at the Horticulture Center in Fairmount Park with live music and dance, martial arts demonstrations, a pet parade (shiba inus encouraged, wow), and of course, gorgeous cherry trees in full blossom. Other events include J-Horror and Anime film screenings, two Saturdays of activities based around Morris Arboretum’s collection of cherry trees in bloom, and Dine Out Japan, a mini restaurant week hosted by a number of Japanese restaurants.
Ultimately, the big takeaway from Philly’s Cherry Blossom Festival is always the courtesy heads up for photographers’ eye candy. Since 1998, JASGP has planted over a thousand cherry trees in the region, honoring and renewing a gift bestowed upon Philadelphia by Japan for the American Sesquicentennial in 1926.