While there was no parade this year, the 55th annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival blossomed again, and every performance is available online so you can relive all the anime cosplay, Taiko Dojo, and swordsmanship.
These days we often use the phrase “Nature is healing” as a pandemic-era meme referencing things getting back to some semblance of normalcy. And certainly festivals and large events are part of that, but few urban festivals celebrate nature itself quite like the SF Cherry Blossom Festival (proper name: Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival) which KPIX reports brought large crowds back to Japantown the last two weekends.
Had a fun time at the Cherry Blossom Festival today! pic.twitter.com/DsrbrSGdfj— Churro 🥔 EN VTuber | Hopeless Romantic Arc ❤️🩹 (@churrrr0_) April 18, 2022
There was not a parade this year, but otherwise, fans of Japanese food and culture got the full two weekends of Cherry Blossom Festival. As a bonus, the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival Facebook page livestreamed all the performances, and each is available on demand (Sunday’s is seen below).
Each of the on-demand video posts is multiple hours long, and there are four of them. So if there's something in particular you want to watch, check out the Cherry Blossom Festival online schedule, then find that day’s post on their Facebook page, and skip through the video until you find what you want to watch.
I had so much fun at the sf cherry blossom festival. It was so much fun and I saw some amazing genshin cosplays. #GenshinImapct #GenshinImpactcosplay #Baal #baalcosplay #cosplay #cosplayergirl #cosplayer pic.twitter.com/RGVhA3BODd— 🇵🇭 Class Rep🧋 (@classrep_jpeg) April 17, 2022
Despite the lack of parade, the festival still satisfied. “I’m just happy to have the festival again where people can come out and see that we can have a good time and be safe,” festival organizer Grant Tsuji told KPIX.
Easter at the cherry blossom festival but the wind blew away the cherry blossoms pic.twitter.com/JRhhKZA9HA— Tico (@ticonderoqa) April 18, 2022
And it was on some level fortuitous that the technical problems that have caused the closure of the Kabuki Theater came last week, and not the week before. That’s because the crowning of the Cherry Blossom Festival Queen was on April 9, the first weekend of the festival. So that still went off — erm, took place, whereas the Kabuki started encountering its technical difficulties on Tuesday, April 12.
this whole touching grass every weekend is becoming routine 🤔— mike (@rzn_mike) April 17, 2022
cherry blossom festival in the city: pic.twitter.com/TTCMfIG8Yz
There has of course been drama with a couple of the cherry blossom trees themselves, which were vandalized in January 2021, but replaced last July. And while Japantown is not necessarily awash in pink flowers (and their blossom times can vary by year), you do still see a solid smattering of pink above.
Image: @churrrr0_ via Twitter