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Inga Howe-Geniesse

Sakura Matsuri Brings A Slice of Japan to The Brooklyn Botanic Garden

This weekend, Garden Collage attended the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Sakura Matsuri festival, which celebrates traditional and contemporary Japanese culture under the beauty of cherry blossom trees. Cherry blossom festivals occur all over the world– in Japan, where cherry blossoms are native– but the celebration also takes place in the United States, and has a growing international appeal. Each celebration has its own character, unique to the community and country where it takes place. (And as our Editor, Molly, recently experienced Sakura in Japan, we wanted to check out what the festival had to offer in NYC.)

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Inga Howe-Geniesse

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Sakura Matsuri festival attracts all different groups of people, from families with young children to cosplayers dressed as Sonic the Hedgehog. In between the rows of cherry blossoms along the esplanade was a stage featuring musical acts and performers. In the Osborne Garden, booths were set up, offering everything from books to manga workshops to seasonal Japanese confections. Tours were also open to visitors, covering topics like the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Japanese flower arranging (sogetsu) exhibit and bonsai collection.

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Inga Howe-Geniesse

The Cherry Blossom Festival itself is one of the best ways to fill a weekend in New York City (and is rife with photo opps!), with the entire botanical garden– not the cherry blossoms– in full springtime bloom. A grove in the north of the park is covered with thick, wide lilacs, lending the surrounding area a sweet, delicate fragrance (we noticed a great many visitors stopping to take a sniff as they left). Along the trellises, the wisteria is beginning to fill out and the peonies are heavy and lush, vibrant against their dark leaves. Tulips planted near the entrance and azaleas in neat beds both add to extravagant pinks and pastels on display. The entire park seemed to be honoring the occasion– We can’t think of a more fitting way to celebrate spring!

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Inga Howe-Geniesse

Check out the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s page for more garden themed events.

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