Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival CherryBlossom_MichaelOcampo_1280x642_sized
Michael Ocampo/Flickr

APRIL

Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival

Timed to coincide with the springtime blossoming of delicate cherry trees, this long-standing city favorite showcases Japanese culture and the region’s Japanese-American community.

Most of the activities, including a parade, are centered around the city’s Japantown district. Choose from workshops and demonstrations in ikebana (flower arranging), sumi-e (brush/ink painting), calligraphy, bonsai (tree dwarfing), origami, and doll-making. Watch dancers, and listen to traditional Japanese music and instruments, including koto (harp-like instruments), shakuhachi (bamboo flutes), and shamisen. There will be taiko and karaoke concerts, too, plus performances by Bay Area bands, adding an East-meets-West angle to the festivities.