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Hanami in NYC

woman enjoying cherry blossoms in the park

There’s little debate that when it comes to checking out cherry blossoms around the apartments in Manhattan, the displays you’ll see at the nearby Brooklyn Botanic Garden are some of the best in town. When it comes to experiencing Hanami, the Japanese tradition of welcoming spring, no Institution in New York does it quite like the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. today, are going to fill you in on all of the details you need to know to have a great cherry blossom viewing experience as you bring in Spring with style!

What Is Hanami, Precisely?

Hanami, in case you weren’t aware, is Japanese practice of welcoming spring. In more common terms this refers to the many cherry blossom festivals that you will find occurring in Spring to celebrate the arrival and departure of these short-lived blooms, a metaphor, perhaps, for the transient beauty of nature.

These celebrations can often last several days, or even a few weeks, and during the festivities, traditional drinks like sake and tea, along with delectable seasonal foods will make their appearance. There are, of course, many places to view flowers (and, hence, many cherry blossom festivals) going down around New York City this spring. Few, however, can compare to the magnificence of what you’ll experience at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Experiencing Hanami at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the Sakura Matsuri

The cherry blossom displays at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden are known far and wide for their splendor, and if you’re in the mood to see some spring blooms, you’ll not be disappointed here. There are 26 specific species of cherry tree in the garden’s collection, ranging from the lovely hybrids, Prunus Accolade, to the pretty, pink, Prunus Subhirtella and their amazing “rosy clouds” of petals.

You could, theoretically, head down the BBG at any time during the Spring to see these amazing blooms on your own, but in the spirit of kicking the season off right, you’ll have a much more of a blast if you attend the fabled Sakura Matsuri— the garden’s annual cherry blossom festival. This festival takes place over two days, April 27th and April 28th, and features a wide range of entertainment that celebrates the breadth of Japan’s wonderful culture:

“Sakura Matsuri, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's annual cherry blossom festival, celebrates Japanese culture with a rich program of events, including live music (taiko drumming, jazz, Japanese rock, techno, and more), dance performances, fashion, art workshops, tea ceremonies, games, martial arts performances, and Japanese-inspired food.”

Saturday, on the Cherry Esplanade Stage, they’ve got a riveting lineup planned, covering music, dancing, and impressive displays of Japanese swordplay and stagecraft:

  • Soh Daiko — Japanese Taiko drummers with 40 years of experience. They’ll be bringing the proverbial “thunder” to the Cherry Esplanade Stage with their 80-member crew.
  • DanceJapan w/Sachiyo Ito — Elegant cultural dances are always a sight to behold, and Sachiyo Ito’s crew will be showing off some of the best that Japan has to offer.
  • Japanese Folk Dance Institute of NY — The Minbu Dance is a Japanese favorite; the Japanese Folk Dance Institute of New York’s experienced members will be bringing this artform to life as they grace the stage in their colorful outfits.
  • Samurai Sword Soul — It’s time to duel! The Samurai Sword Soul presentation shows off the elegance of Japanese swordsmanship in a manner most theatrical, actioned-packed and performed by masters of this martial arts craft.
  • Pinky Doodle Poodle — This small, Japanese rock group has been on a tear since the release of their first album, and after moving to the United States, they’ve only grown in popularity.
  • The Molice — Riveting indie rock with a decidedly Japanese twist, the Molice manage to blend the best of the East and West, while incorporating a range of styles into their playing.

That’s not all, however, as the J-Lounge Stage will be featuring even more great entertainment for you to enjoy, including:

  • A Japanese Manga presentation
  • Taiko Drumming for the whole family
  • An Anime quiz
  • A Japanese Jazz-Quintet
  • Japanese DJs
  • And More

The Tea Ceremonies will be taking place in the afternoon, allowing you to see how to make this tasty drink the Japanese way, and show proper reverence while welcoming the beautiful cherry blooms and an amazing Spring to come. There will be an Artist’s Village on hand, where you can view and purchase a variety of Japanese artwork, including abstract pieces, illustrations, video game art, pottery, and lovely books.

Then there’s the Japanese Marketplace, where fashion accessories and craftwork abound. Small batch chocolate, vintage kimonos, novelty pillows, dolls, and more will all be for sale, and will make great gifts for you and yours. Meanwhile, the garden pop-ups will offer miscellaneous happenings like food stands, decorating workshops, demonstrations on Japanese culture, and similar events for you to enjoy.

If you’re a fan of games and peaceful pastimes, you’ll be pleased to find that many will be represented at the festival, including an Origami Arts Atelier, Bonsai classes, Shogi, Go, and even an area for you to play Karuta, courtesy of the NYC Karuta Club. Finally, there will be a wide range of activities just for the kids, allowing them to experience all the origami, taiko drumming, and tea preparation they can handle with others their own age.

And this is all just the Saturday schedule. Remember the Sakura Matsuri is a two-day affair, and all these wonders will be back around for you to enjoy on Sunday as well. Be sure to get your tickets in advance so you can have a blast at this, the prettiest and most lively of all New York’s cherry blossom festivals come late April.

Hanami Around the Apartments in NYC Will Be Amazing

Seems like there’s always something fun going on around the neighborhood when you call places like The Cole your home. Beyond the special events, though, when you’re here, you’ll find that all the things you love about your everyday — the shopping, the restaurants, the nightlife — are close at hand and some of the best you’ve ever experienced. Make this your new Manhattan home; check out what The Cole has to offer today and reach out to learn more about our availability.