The Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival is a major event of the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C., being the biggest one-day celebration of Japanese culture in the nation. The festival stretches six blocks and includes Japanese performances on three stages and martial artists demonstrating their skills throughout the day. Other participants include Japanese and Asian restaurants, interactive cultural exhibits, and vendors selling Japanese products. Find a beer garden to relax in, Japanese music and dance performances to enjoy, a marketplace for buying traditional goods, and a children's corner for the little ones to play in.
Sakura Matsuri is just one part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, an annual three-week, city-wide event featuring more than 200 international cultural performances and over 90 other special events.
Date and Location
The Sakura Matsuri Festival usually takes place in April following the annual Parade of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which is scheduled for April 4, 2020. It is held on Pennysylvania Avenue between 3rd & 7th Street NW.
Enjoying the Festival
Sakura Matsuri features four different performance stages highlighting different aspects of Japanese culture, such as Japanese pop, traditional music, and martial arts. Interactive activities for kids and families are a fun way to learn about the cultural contributions of Japanese immigrants to the U.S., and the Ginza Marketplace is a place to buy handcrafted artwork, accessories, and other goods that are either imported directly from Japan or inspired by Japanese artists.
No cultural festival is complete without local food and drinks, and the Sakura Matsuri doesn't disappoint. Kirin Ichiban, one of the most popular beers in Japan, is the official beer vendor for the event and will have plenty of taps on site. Those who prefer trying sake, the traditional Japanese rice wine, will be able to do tastings of different sakes that come directly from Nada, one of Japan's premier sake-producing regions. To compliment all of the drinking, food vendors from the D.C. area will be selling traditional Japanese snacks including takoyaki, okonomiyaki, karaage fried chicken, and mochi ice cream.
The best way to get to the festival is by public transportation. The closest Metro station is Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter. For more information about getting to the festival, see Cherry Blossom Festival Transportation Guide
The cost of admission is $10 per adult. Family packages and sake tasting passes are also available. Children ages 12 and under are able to enter for free. Purchase tickets in advance online and avoid the lines.