Sakura Matsuri
Start writing a post

Sakura Matsuri

Once a year, Brooklyn Botanical Gardens turns into Japan Fest.

Sakura Matsuri
Mike Ratliff

I heard about Sakura Matsuri a few years ago, but this weekend, I had the pleasure of experiencing it firsthand. When I opened the program booklet, my friend and I were both elated at the number of options we could explore. It almost seemed as though we had too many decisions to make regarding where to go, but it was easy to travel throughout the garden despite the thousands of people that were in attendance. We first made our way to the Osborne garden, where we heard DJ Sashimi play beats from Studio Ghibli. I thought I heard a song from Princess Mononoke being played. It was very cool to see. With that as our backdrop, we walked around tents. From kokechi dolls to Raaka chocolate samples, Sushi pillows, and haori selections, the air of excitement buzzing around us was infectious. The weather was lovely too, so that only made our time at the festival better. I am not sure which parts of Sakura Matsuri are repeats from previous years, and I did not get to attend the tea ceremonies, but I am going to list my five favorite moments from the festival below!

1. Picking out our haori

People were decked out in cosplay, lolita outfits, and kimono--it was a spectacular sight. I had been wanting to buy a Japanese-inspired garment, so I decided to go with something subtle that I can wear with my Western clothes. Love at first sight is something I believe in when it comes to clothes. Extremely happy with this memorable souvenir from the festival, I wore the silk garment right after I bought it. I added more pink to my outfit that I have ever worn in my life, and I did not regret it.

2. Cherry blossoms in bloom

The season of cherry blossoms may be ending any day now, but the pink magnolia are beautiful--if not even more mesmerizing than the cherry blossoms. The petals with the combination of sunlight created such a flurry of enchantment, and the aura of the garden was surreal. I really didn't get the hype of all this until I attended the event. And yes, you will need to be quick to react if you want to get a picture with a tree with petals in every shade of pink, since there are several shades and eager people awaiting picture-taking time.

3. Shakuhachi flute

A performer of the shakuhachi flute was performing in the auditorium. The sound of the flute was serene, and the meditative quality of it made me feel contemplative. I felt as though I was sitting in a cave by a waterfall when I heard the pieces that were performed on that ancient flute. If it weren't for the fact that many of the music performances overlapped in time, I would've stayed for the entire time.

4. Taiko performance

I know it's another music performance, but this was performed by a young troupe. One of the performers even treated us to the sight of him doing fast cartwheels on stage. I could feel their energy radiating off the stage, and their final number boasted so many fast syncopations that I felt like almost dancing. The beat of their drums etched its way into our minds.

5. Visiting the tenugui stand

I was treated to the sight of a beautiful array of handkerchiefs. I find them to be decorative, and if I had a few more $20 bills to spare, I would've splurged on buying presents for other people. There were views of the Fuji Mountain, samurai, cherry blossoms, and cats on the handkerchiefs. All were artfully adorned and charming in their own way. I ended up settling on a tenugui with a deep red violet color theme that focused on the sakura blossoms as a second souvenir from the festival.

Honorable mention: I ended up buying two chocolate bars infused with togarashi and sesame and one with kombu (seaweed) from the Raaka stand! All in all, it was a fun time. The $25 student ID admission fee is worth it as long as you enter the garden at 10am sharp and traverse the activities throughout the day until 6pm. I saw people lounging around on picnic blankets, which I thought was a great idea to look into if I attend again in the future! I would recommend everyone going to see it at least once because once you go, you'll actually understand why it's a yearly festival.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Rebecca Alvarez

Rebecca Alvarez is many things: founder, sexologist, CEO, mentor, and more — as a Latina businesswoman, each of her endeavors is grounded in the strong principles of inclusivity and diversity, especially in sexual health and wellness. Bloomi is the product of her all of her shared passions, and with it she has fostered a community of like-minded, passionate women.

Keep Reading... Show less

There is not a consistent standard for health education in the United States. There are a lot of variables that go into this — what state a student lives in, whether they go to a public or private school, and the district's funding and priorities. These variables can be argued for any subject, not just health class. But as we continue to grow as a society, hopefully bettering our education system along the way, it's crucial to consider this often-forgotten element of a child's schooling.

Keep Reading... Show less

In March, the whole country shut down. School was online, extra-curriculars were canceled, and I found myself laying in bed all day every day. One day, as I was laying in bed contemplating my laziness, I decided that I wanted to do something to make myself more healthy. I was feeling so down on myself and my laziness so I decided to make a change.

Keep Reading... Show less

10 Songs That Made It Onto My September Playlist

September is the month for Los Angeles natives and Australian music fans.


The Neighbourhood, Bad Suns and The Driver Era are three Los Angeles bands that released songs this month. Not only was it a month for Los Angeles bands, but many Australian bands released new music — San Cisco's fourth studio album, Surf Trash single, Skegss single, and High Tropics single. I made new discoveries this month and was pleased by the amount of new music.

Read the listicle below to learn what came out this month in alternative rock music:

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Staying Active While You're Stuck Inside IS Possible, It Just Takes Some Small Steps

I know the last thing you want to think about right now is exercising, but it's time to put down the controller and put on your workout clothes.


As someone who has also been living on a bed since March, I can guarantee you that working out has been the last thing on my priority list. It's pretty far down there, along with my motivation and brain cells I used to use for work. However, I have made an effort in the past couple of weeks to move up exercising to at least number three on my priorities list.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Got Clean At A Very Young Age, And It Honestly Saved My Life

At 18, the world looked so much different for me than it did for most other 18-year-olds that I knew.

Emmie Pombo

Going into rehab when I was 19 was hands down the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life. My addiction started when I was around 17 and spiraled and spiraled out of control, as addictions always do. However, looking back, I'm so lucky my addiction started and ended when it did.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

7 Things Your Partner Can Do To Support You When You Have PCOS

Don't be afraid to ask for help or comfort if you need it.


Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) may not be totally visible to the eye, which makes it a lot harder for your partner to understand what's going on with your body.

If you are in a relationship, it's important that you communicate your PCOS symptoms with your partner. I say "your" symptoms specifically because everyone's symptoms are different.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Watched 'The Social Dilemma' And YIKES, I'm Terrified For The Next Generation's Mental Health

Millennials can remember a time without online social affirmation, but we may be the last ones.

The Social Dilemma / Netflix

I've been in a media job for the entirety of my professional career. From part-time social media internships to full-time editorial work, I've continued to learn how to tell stories, write catchy headlines, and keep people interested. I believe working in media is a big responsibility, as well as a valuable way to advance our world.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

One Indictment, Three Charges, And No Justice For Breonna Taylor

We can't settle for this decision or a system that is fundamentally broken and unequal.


On March 13, 26-year-old Breonna Taylor was fatally shot in her apartment by police who were executing a "no-knock" warrant. Since then, there have been rallying efforts both in the streets and on social media demanding justice for Taylor and keeping her name known.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments