2018 NATIONAL CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL

The Embassy of Japan is proud to present a fabulous lineup through the Japan Information & Culture Center (JICC) during the 2018 National Cherry Blossom Festival. The Festival, which commemorates the gift of 3,000 cherry trees to the city of Washington, DC, is an annual celebration to honor the lasting friendship between Japan and the United States.

In 1912, the Mayor of Tokyo, Yukio Ozaki, gifted 3,000 cherry trees to Washington, DC as a symbol of the friendship between the two nations. Ms. Eliza Scidmore, the author of a travel journal who was deeply impressed by the beauty of the cherry blossoms at Mukoujima in Tokyo, had campaigned for years to have them brought to DC. Along with Dr. Joukichi Takamine, famous for his work on adrenaline and the enzyme taka-diastase and a long-time friend of America, she urged First Lady Helen Taft to have the trees planted along the Potomac. Now every year the public parks along the banks of the Potomac River in Washington are covered in gorgeous blooming trees, delighting the public who come to see them.

The first festival commemorating the gift from Japan and the friendship it represented was held in 1927. Now it has grown into the largest such celebration in America, welcoming more than 1.5 million visitors each year. The Opening Ceremony in particular, with its captivating performances from artists representing both Japan and the US, enjoys a high degree of popularity both locally and abroad in Japan. The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade and the Sakura Matsuri – Japanese Street Festival also draw packed crowds.

Helpful Links: New York Times: The Gift of Cherry Blossoms | National Cherry Blossom Festival | Sakura Matsuri – Japanese Street Festival


Sign Up For Cherry Blossom Event Emails!

  • Date
  • Event
  • Venue
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • MAR-
    MAY
  • Exhibition: Evolving Traditions
  • JICC
  • Evolving Traditions features the modern works of Yuki Ideguchi, whose creative processes are inspired by traditional Japanese painting methods and themes, alongside a special collection of rarely-seen traditional hidden masterpieces from the Embassy’s collection.
  • More Info
  • Mar-Apr 20-3 2018
  • CineMatsuri
  • E Street Cinema
  • CineMatsuri showcases five of Japan's most recent and best films, each in a different genre, reflecting the richness and diversity of today's Japanese cinema.
  • Buy
  • More Info
  • Mar 23 2018
  • Gundam SEED Screening
  • Jack Morton Auditorium
  • "Gundam Seed Destiny" Episode 23 will be screened.
  • More Info
  • Mar 24 2018
  • SAAM Cherry Blossom Festival
  • American Art Museum
  • Join SAAM and the National Cherry Blossom Festival for a celebration of Japanese culture! Featuring Shodo Girls, a taiko performance, and the US premiere of Okinawa’s NS Ryukyu Ballet Company.
  • More Info
  • Mar 25 2018
  • Shodo Girls at Tidal Basin
  • Tidal Basin ANA Performance Stage
  • The Fukuoka Prefectural Yahata Chuo High School Japanese Calligraphy Club have been praised for their dynamic performance, innovative calligraphy composition, and their natural approach toward Shodo expressions.
  • More Info
  • Mar 25 2018
  • National Cherry Blossom Festival Opening Ceremony
  • Warner Theatre
  • Featured performers include: Akiko Yano, T.M. Revolution, Shodo Girls, and The 6821 Quartet.
  • Buy
  • More Info
  • Mar 26 2018
  • Akiko Yano
  • Blues Alley
  • Japanese Jazz Series. Akiko Yano was born in Tokyo, and relocated to New York in 1990 where she has since collaborated and toured with some of the world's more renowned musicians.
  • Buy
  • More Info
  • Mar 27 2018
  • Eri Yamamoto Trio
  • Blues Alley
  • Japanese Jazz Series. Eri Yamamoto has established herself as one of jazz's most original and compelling pianists and composers since moving to the U.S. in 1995.
  • Buy
  • More Info
  • Mar 28 2018
  • Exhibition Opening: Evolving Traditions
  • JICC
  • Artist Yuki Ideguchi and Director of PIGMENT Materials Lab Dr. Kei Iwaizumi will take visitors on a journey through the history of traditional paintings in Japan and the beautiful pigments and materials instrumental to their creation.
  • Register
  • More Info
  • Mar 28 2018
  • Yoko Miwa Trio
  • Blues Alley
  • Japanese Jazz Series. Yoko Miwa Trio, with its remarkable telepathy and infectious energy, has brought audiences to their feet worldwide.
  • Buy
  • More Info
  • Mar 29 2018
  • Workshop: Nihonga Now
  • Freer and Sackler Galleries
  • Discover the art of traditional Japanese painting, or nihonga, and how it is being reinterpreted today in this hands-on workshop at the Freer and Sackler Galleries.
  • Buy
  • More Info
  • Mar 29 2018
  • Senri Oe
  • Blues Alley
  • Japanese Jazz Series. Senri Oe is making a name for himself as an innovative, engaged, and highly creative member of the jazz community.
  • Buy
  • More Info
  • Mar 31 2018
  • Open Studio: Paints, Pigments, Brushes
  • Freer and Sackler Galleries
  • Enter the world of traditional Japanese painting, or nihonga, in this drop-in workshop celebrating the National Cherry Blossom Festival at the Freer and Sackler Galleries.
  • Buy
  • More Info
  • Apr 6 2018
  • Japan and Jazz
  • Freer and Sackler Galleries
  • Get an unexpected view into Japanese culture through live jazz by Tomohiro Mori, a Q&A with artists, and exclusive curator tours of Japanese art exhibitions.
  • Buy
  • More Info
  • Apr 7 2018
  • 20th Annual Cherry Blossom Freedom Walk
  • National Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism During World War II
  • The Freedom Walk aims to celebrate and educate people about the Japanese-American spirit of patriotism and perserverance during World War II.
  • More Info
  • Apr 8 2018
  • Stone Lantern Lighting Ceremony
  • Japanese Stone Lantern Plaza near the Tidal Basin
  • The Stone Lantern is lit once each year by the Princess representing the Embassy of Japan, and only during the Cherry Blossom Festival.
  • More Info
  • Apr 12-13 2018
  • Japan Bowl
  • National 4-H Youth Conference Center
  • An academic competition that tests the achievements of high school students throughout the United States who are studying the Japanese language.
  • More Info
  • Apr 13 2018
  • Grand Ball Dinner
  • Omni Shoreham Hotel
  • Join top officials and diplomatic leaders for one of our nation's most beloved spring traditions – the Official Cherry Blossom Grand Ball and Sushi Reception.
  • More Info
  • Apr 14 2018
  • National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
  • Constitution Avenue
  • One of DC’s largest spectator events, the energy-filled National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade runs for 10 blocks along iconic Constitution Avenue.
  • Buy
  • More Info
  • Apr 14 2018
  • Sakura Matsuri—Japanese Street Festival
  • Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
  • The Sakura Matsuri—Japanese Street Festival is the largest one-day celebration of Japanese culture in the U.S. The festival is excited to return to Pennsylvania Avenue between 3rd and 7th Streets, NW in 2018.
  • Buy
  • More Info
  • Apr 18 2018
  • Kana Uemura
  • Millenium Stage
  • NYC-based Kana Uemura, Japanese singer, songwriter, and guitarist, will perform J-Pop (Japanese pop music) and American Pop music including her original songs.
  • More Info
  • Apr 19 2018
  • J-Film: FOUJITA
  • JICC
  • In 1913, Foujita left for France where his paintings attracted notice and made him a favorite in Paris. He returned to Japan due to the war and painted propaganda but discovers a Japan he never knew.
  • Register
  • More Info

Family-Friendly Events at the Cherry Blossom Festival

The festival presents all kinds of fun and enriching opportunities for all ages! Here's a family friendly guide to the 2018 National Cherry Blossom Festival so the whole family can enjoy the blossoms.


Download Family-Friendly Cherry Blossom Events!

PARTNERS

  • Blues Alley Jazz
  • Japan Foundation
  • National Cherry Blossom Festival
  • The Freer and Sackler Galleries
  • ANA
  • The Kennedy Center
  • JASWDC