Hanami in Washington DC

While traditional Hanami happens in Japan, I had the pleasure of visiting the nation’s capitol this year for the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The trip was only for a few days (March 31-April 5) but our time there happened to coincide with the peak blooming period (April 1-4). We wasted no time going out to see the trees and packed our gear for the beautiful walk around the Tidal Basin. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

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IMG_2134 The walkway along the basin was lined with trees and people

IMG_2181Looking across the water to the Jefferson Memorial

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In addition to the trees, Saturday brought the annual Sakura Matsuri street festival. As one of the largest Japanese festivals in the nation, it closed down 6 blocks of Pennsylvania Avenue and featured performances from cultural groups, taiko troupes, and even JPop artists. This year’s major guest was singer Kawashima Ai, the young and talented JPop artist.

IMG_2943 The crowds gather to eat, play, and enjoy the beautiful weather

IMG_2924 No celebration of Japanese culture can be complete without Cosplay

IMG_2960 …or Godzilla, for that matter…

IMG_2949 Kawashima Ai performs on stage