2009 Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival--Some Pictures of My Visit

Fun on the Streets of DC

My favorite day of the year is the day of the Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival in DC. The Street Festival comes every spring to celebrate the history of how Washington DC happens to have it's collection of cherry trees.

Washington DC's first cherry trees were a gift from the Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese ambassador, given in March of 1912.  The first Cherry Blossom Festival was held in 1935.  Then in 1965, Japan presented 3800 more trees to First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson.  The Cherry Blossom Festival grew over the years and is now celebrated for 2 weeks during peak bloom season with multiple activities.

The Sakura Matsuri Street Festival began in 1961 and is put on by the Japan-America Society of Washington DC.  This year was the 49th Annual Sakura Matsuri Street Festival.  The Japan-America Society does an amazing job producing the street festival.  Visitors can view many Japanese performers who delight the crowds. 

My hub "The Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival at the Washington DC Cherry Blossom Festival"  will give you more information on all the great things you can see and do while at the festival.  Everyone should start making plans now to visit Washington DC in 2012 for the Centennial Anniversary Festival!

My son enjoying the festival
My son enjoying the festival
This year had many more people than the previous two!
This year had many more people than the previous two!
The food was delicious!
The food was delicious!
We found a quiet place to eat.
We found a quiet place to eat.
Eating out of the crowd's way.
Eating out of the crowd's way.

Crowd Watching

As always, my favorite part of the festival are the people! Anime characters mixing with regular Joes. Japanese princesses decked out in colorful kimonos mingling with the masses. I love the variety!

Anime in Living Color

One of my personal favorites
One of my personal favorites
Just another day at the festival for Haruhi
Just another day at the festival for Haruhi
Waiting on line for Dance, Dance Revolution
Waiting on line for Dance, Dance Revolution
He was standing on the pedestal and the woman to the left was dancing.
He was standing on the pedestal and the woman to the left was dancing.
Waiting for friends?
Waiting for friends?
Naruto makes his escape
Naruto makes his escape

Kimono, Kimono, Kimono

It was a very windy day
It was a very windy day
Two lovely ladies
Two lovely ladies

The Shops

A cherry tree made of paper and pink marshmallows
A cherry tree made of paper and pink marshmallows
Some of the merchandise for sale
Some of the merchandise for sale
The back of the Beer Garden
The back of the Beer Garden

Some Cherry Blossoms

I read that over 100,000 people gathered for this year's street festival. It was an extraordinary day of fun for my family. There were people everywhere, but most were polite and having fun. My advice is go early, stay late and have the time of your life!

BTW--I actually remembered to take my camera...and yes, I finally posted some of my own photos.  :)

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Comments 16 comments

Elena. profile image

Elena. 7 years ago from Madrid

Gosh, the cherry blossom photos are to die for! Gotta say, the paper & pink marshmallow "copy" is a cute attempt, but you placed the photo just above the "originals" and I feel a bit sorry for the whole attempted tree :-)


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States

This is a fun hub. Great shots! Fun to observe the culture.


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Elena, Thanks! Maybe I should move that photo. You are right, I had not even noticed!

Thanks Tom! It was a fun time!


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Thanks for the feedback, Elena! I moved the tree...it sure did look sorry where it was.


C. C. Riter 7 years ago

Elena is right! The picture of the one 'lovely lady' looks more like a drag queen to me.LOL this is wonderful girl, gee thanks


cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

CC I been playing Nancy drew!


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

kawaiiiiiiiiiiii!


RKHenry profile image

RKHenry 7 years ago from Your neighborhood museum

Can you imagine Lady Bird's face when she realized that those 3800 trees needed holes dug? Needless to say, I don't think she took part in that activity.

Great hub K@ri. I hadn't ever heard of the festival. Looks like great fun.


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

LOL CC, that's a good way of putting it. Do you think I should rename it "The Drag Queen Tree"?

Cindy, Are you stalking CC again? :D

Hi Teresa! I see you have a place on the Martial Arts Stage. Just watch out for the Sumo's!

RK, No, I can't see her helping. :) The festival IS great fun! If your ever in the area during the spring, check it out.


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall

Lots of people,lots of fun..thanks for the tour


J Mockridge 7 years ago

A photo guide of an event I did not know existed. Thanks for the insight.


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Hawkedream, Thanks for liking it!

JM, It's tons of fun, if you get the chance!


droj profile image

droj 7 years ago from CNY

Very cool bit of history! I have never even heard anything about cherry trees in DC... and it didn't even have anything to do with George Washington! Z^)


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

droj, Thanks for reading! I forgot about GW's never tell a lie! Thanks for reminding me.


vilims profile image

vilims 7 years ago

very interesting and funny festival


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Thanks vilims! It is very funny and very fun!

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