Sunday, April 17 was a beautiful, sunny day to spend at the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival on Sakura Sunday. At Fairmount Park in Philadelphia many people spent the day outdoors enjoying everything that is Japanese culture. From traditional Japanese drum playing and dance performances to martial art displays and a cosplay fashion show many outstanding events and attractions that happened at the festival.
The vendors at the festival consisted of small trinkets like traditional Japanese hairpins, small glass good luck charms and solar powered waving cat clocks. In there was even a Little Akiba section where many vendors sold anime plushies, costumes and props and character figurines.
The food sold at the festival went from street food like hot dogs, French fries and fried oreos and then to Japanese food like rice balls with many fillings, sushi and gyu-don. There was also a sweets stand that sold chocolate truffles, chocolate covered and candied fruit and fudge. There also happened to be a Subaru Sushi Samurai of the Year contest, all entries looked artistic and delicious…it’s a shame that no one got to try a piece though.
The festival had three recognizable activities that you would see at a festival in Japan. First there was fish catching game where the player has to try and catch a goldfish in a small pool with a small paper net before the net breaks, but instead of actual fish the little pool was filled with bouncy balls.
Then there was the wish tree, otherwise known as Tanabata, where people received slips of paper, wrote a wish on it and hung it on the tree to make it come true. The last was fortune telling sticks or Omikuji. Omikuji is when a person picks a lottery stick with a number on it and gets a piece of paper that matches the stick number. On the paper is a fortune that either says the person will have very good, good, medium or bad luck. If you have bad luck then you can tie the piece of paper to a tree and have it burned to prevent the bad luck.
Another attraction that caught many adults and most of all children’s attention was the marimo stand that had Minnow the Mermaid smiling and showing off how large the marimo moss balls can grow.
Let’s not forget to mention all the lovable dogs that came by for the Prettiest Pet in Pink Parade!
The music performers consisted of a well in tuned beautiful traditional drumming and the Japanese rock band called Kanadete Sourou. At the end of the festival a unique kitsunemai dance was performed by Yoshiwara Kitsune Shachu.
With all the delicious food, fun games, amazing performances and awesome buys everyone who attended is sure to be waiting in anticipation for next year!