Vol.32 March 2010
- "Washoku-Try Japan's Good Food! "
- "Japan-US Relations Remain Unaffected," says Ambassador to UCONN Stamford
- Japanese Americans Vibrant in the U.S.-Japan Relationship
- Visit Japan-Japan for the First Timer
- Culture Connection - Get to Know Japan : The Teacher's Workshop at the Consulate-General of Japan
- From the Ambassador's Desk
- j-Cation: Taste of Japan
- Where to See Cherry Blossom Festivals
- Event Calendar
On February 26th, the Consulate General of Japan in New York hosted a reception at the Ambassador's official residence to promote the "Washoku -; Try Japan's Good Food" campaign. This three-hour afternoon event was intended to help deepen understanding of Japanese cuisine by allowing attendees to experience high-quality food ingredients such as yellowtail, high-end Japanese wagyu beef, nagaimo yam (or Chinese yam), and premium strawberries. All preparations were made by the Head Chef at the Ambassador's residence, Mr. Yusuke Higuchi. In addition, this reception offered a preview of the "Japan Pavilion" at the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York, which was held February 28th through March 2nd.
Two seminars on the Japanese alcoholic beverages sake and shochu were held on the first floor of the residence. The speakers were Mr. Timothy Sullivan, a certified "Sake Samurai," and shochu expert Ms. Yukari Sakamoto, who was also the MC for this event. On the second floor, Chef Higuchi gave cooking demonstrations and guests sampled Japanese delicacies at booths operated by distributors who participated in the Foodservice Show. For example, booths displayed items such as tea, juice, teriyaki fish, tofu, soy sauce, and sea salt. Also, the retailer Kamakura Minamoto Kichoan exhibited Japanese-style confectionery.
About 140 people attended the reception, including local media representatives, restaurant professionals (including prominent chefs), distributors, and others from the food industry. Attendance exceeded expectations considering the heavy snowfall that led up to the event.
The reception began with remarks by Ambassador Shinichi Nishimiya. He highlighted the government's efforts to increase awareness of high-quality Japanese agricultural items and boost exports of such products. He explained that, by the year 2020, Japan aims to reach 1 trillion yen in total agricultural and fishery exports, or roughly double the current level. He also emphasized that it is very important for Japanese cuisine to be recognized in New York City -; a cultural trend-setter both nationally and globally.
Ambassador Nishimiya added that, although the U.S. is Japan's second-biggest agricultural export market after Hong Kong, Japan's exports to the U.S. still have much potential for growth.
Following the opening remarks, Chef Higuchi presented a buri (mature yellowtail) sashimi tasting, using three 10-pound buri specimens brought directly from Ehime, Japan. Chef Higuchi sliced the fish into sashimi in front of the guests and served it with authentic soy sauce. Since the MC, Ms. Sakamoto, was very knowledgeable about Japanese food culture and fluent in Japanese and English, she could describe in detail the Chef's intricate techniques. Chef Higuchi also answered questions from the guests. All told, the sashimi was consumed in less than 10 minutes.
After the sashimi tasting, the attendees sampled shabu-shabu (slices of premium Japanese beef cooked in broth) and experienced a traditional simmered dish of hamachi (young yellowtail) and nagaimo. A tasting of benihoppe strawberries followed. Between the food tastings, about 40 people attended the sake and shochu lectures, which included descriptions of the basic types of sake and shochu and their production methods. While the seminars occurred, guests also had the chance to sample a variety of food and drink from the distributors' booths.
The guests enjoyed all the items offered, and the buri sashimi and benihoppe strawberries seemed especially popular. Some attendees asked where they could find authentic buri in the U.S., noting that the fish served at the reception was much different than local yellowtail. Guests were also impressed by the unusual sweetness of the benihoppe strawberries. Based on the feedback from attendees, the Consulate believes the event was successful in promoting distinctive Japanese food ingredients.
On March 4th, Ambassador Nishimiya gave a speech on "Japan-US Relations" at the University of Connecticut Stamford. The invitation was extended by the University, as well as from the Japan Society of Fairfield County headed by President Harry Sakamaki. In the speech, the Ambassador stated his strong belief that the relationship between Japan and the US would remain the very foundation of Japan's foreign policy and for the prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region.
The speech was delivered at GenRe Auditorium with approximately 80 people in attendance. Among those in the audience were Mr. Bob Duff, Assistant Majority Leader in the Connecticut State Senate and Mr. Chris Perone, Assistant Majority Leader in the Connecticut State House of Representatives. Japanese traditional flower arrangements prepared by Japan Society members were exhibited in front of the auditorium and the event was followed by a reception hosted by UConn Stamford.
At the outset, Ambassador Nishimiya assured the audience that the importance of Japan-US relations would remain unaffected despite the change in the Japanese government. He also confirmed that bilateral security arrangements will remain the cornerstone of peace and security of both countries as well as for the entire Asia Pacific region. In this regard, the Ambassador cited a joint statement issued in January during the 50th anniversary of the signing of the US-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, where the two governments acknowledged their commitment to working together to ensure the continued alliance.
The Ambassador also emphasized the importance of cultural exchange at the grass-roots level. He explained how the Consulate-General of Japan in New York plans to celebrate this year's 150th anniversary of Japan's first diplomatic mission to America. In 1860, it paraded up Broadway and was greeted by a half-a-million people in New York.
During the question and answer session after the speech, Japan's role in regional security was a focal point. A deep and keen interest in Japan by the people of Fairfield County was apparent.
The background of this interest is the traditional bond between Stamford (Fairfield County) and Japan. Mr. Junzo Nojima's story is a good example of this historical bond. Mr. Nojima, a Japanese immigrant to Stamford and a long time resident, planted 120 cherry trees on the banks of Mill River Park in 1957 in order to thank the community. He watered them by hand as they blossomed each spring for decades. There are plans to use grafts from the original trees to plant new cherry trees after renovations to the park are complete. Mr. Nojima's legacy will surely remind us that the Japan-US friendship depends upon the good will and good efforts of all of us.
Courtesy of Mr. Charlie Allcock
The Japanese American community in the United States is a diverse and vibrant one. It is also a community that, as a whole, has a significant role to play in continuing to enhance the partnership between the U.S. and Japan. This month, three events in which the New York Consulate got involved helped bring members of this community together to further unlock its potential.
The centerpiece of this effort was the Japanese American Leadership Delegation's (JALD) trip to Japan at the beginning of the month. JALD, which is celebrating its 10th Anniversary, aims to recruit a cross-section of Japanese-American leaders in the United States to encourage a deeper understanding and involvement in U.S.-Japan relations. Over the past decade, more than 120 Japanese American leaders have participated in the JALD program. The past participants have formed an alumni association resulting in a vibrant network of Japanese American leaders in various fields throughout the States. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership sponsors this official trip to Japan, in collaboration with the U.S.-Japan Council.
This year, thirteen distinguished professionals from around the country were chosen to take part in an 8-day trip to Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo where they met with top Japanese leaders from the Parliament, government, and business. From New York, Ms. Moni Miyashita, Vice President of IBM Corporation, was selected as delegate.
Among the highlights of the trip was a rare meeting with Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama on March 3rd. Prime Minister Hatoyama reaffirmed to the delegation members that the strong U.S.-Japan partnership is the lynchpin of security for the Asia-Pacific region. After the meeting, Hatoyama also expressed how important these remarkable Japanese Americans were to the partnership. "They shared with me their enthusiasm and willingness to work with Japan and the United States. I was very happy to hear that. I really feel that Japanese Americans are enriching the U.S.-Japan relationship," he said.
During the trip, the delegation members also met with Her Imprerial Highness Princess Takamado, Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Koichi Takemasa, U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos, and leaders from Nippon Keidanren, Kankeiren, Keizai Doyukai, and Forum 21.
In the United States, on March 16th, Ambassador Nishimiya hosted a reception at his residence inviting Japanese Americans in New York to foster greater networks among Japanese Americans. The guest list ranged from Japanese Americans representing organizations like US-Japan Council, JAA, JACL NY Chapter, JAJA, JANM, Hosyuko (Japanese Weekend School) Alumni Association to individuals who are successful in their own fields such as business, culture, academia, society, and judicial and legal circles. Japanese Americans who have participated in the JALD program and the JET Program, and Japanese residents who have been supporting the Japanese American communities also joined them. The Ambassador called on the guests at the reception to "utilize this opportunity to empower your own networks with the fellow Japanese and Japanese-Americans."
courtesy of Mr. A.H. Nishihara, Philadelphia Chapter JACL
At the end of the month, Ambassador Nishimiya continued his outreach to these communities beyond New York City. On March 27th, he addressed the Philadelphia Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) at their Annual Luncheon. It was attended by diverse Japanese Americans in terms of their backgrounds, professions and ages, including high-schoolers and distinguished seniors born before the WWII. He expressed to them his sincere admiration for the hardships and great achievements of Japanese Americans over a century. He also declared his intention to make every effort to work together to support their community.
Japan for the First Timer : Tokyo / Hakone / Kyoto
© JNTO, Y.Shimizu
While many Japanese elements have been raising cultural attention in the United States, most first timers would usually take 10 days for their vacation in Japan.
TOKYO (4 days): Since majority of international flights arrive Tokyo, the 101 route to experience Japan basics starts from the capital city. Tokyo is the most technologically advanced city in the world; Get ready for the super modern city life that is mixed in the traditional culture. Being the cultural, political and commercial center, Tokyo has a lot to offer for shopping, dining, entertainment and museums, easily taking up a few days of your trip. But don't miss Tokyo's remaining traditional landmarks:
The Imperial Palace : Since Edo Castle, the political capital, was established in the early 17th century, this is the center of the country and the beautiful and noble Japanese gardens are open for public viewing.
© JNTO, Y.Shimizu
Sensoji Temple : A historic temple in the Asakusa district, symbolized with a large red lantern is the house of the Buddhist goddess since the 7th century.
Meiji Jingu Shrine : Built to honor the Emperor Meiji, who reigned the era of Japan's opening to the rest of the world, the Shrine provides nice promenades through quiet woody space with traditional Shinto atmosphere.
Ginza : Tokyo's equivalent of Fifth Avenue of New York City. You can find all global brand boutiques and fashionable restaurants, bars and cafés.
Akihabara : The ground zero of Japanese anime culture. Started as a huge electronic appliance store district, all digital savvy people stroll around for new gadget and anime products.
Side Trips : Although Tokyo has so many to see and do, there are also rich cultural destinations available within a day trip distance. Nikko's Toshogu Shrine is the golden structure commemorating the powerful shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. Standing on a beautiful hill side, Nikko has been recognized as one of the top destinations for cherry blossom and fall colors. The structure has the mixture of wood and gold leaf, which create unique architectural beauty of the 17th century Japan.
HAKONE (1 day) : After the first few days of Japan's most modern city, move on to beautiful nature and calm Zen world: The best way to experience is to head westward on the world's famous Japanese bullet train, known as shinkansen. Hakone is the perfect place to experience natural beauty and stay at Japanese traditional inn, ryokan. This historic hillside town has full of hot springs, providing the utmost relaxation to the travelers being held during the inspection. Hakone's ryokans are intentionally located for the magnificent view of Mt. Fuji as well, and rest your excited mind in this town.
KYOTO (4 days) : Back on shinkansen, another 2 hour ride will take you to Kyoto. After the capital was moved to Tokyo at the beginning ranked as the No.1 destination in Japan among foreign visitors, for the unchanged beauty of Japan's old cityscape, traditional culture, and the harmony of nature and human life with magical tranquilizing effect. There are allegedly 800 temples and shrines in Kyoto, and most of them are UNESCO's World Heritage historic sites. Among them, the first time visitors should go at least to the following:
Kiyomizu-dera Temple : An over 1200 years old Buddhist temple with a famous wooden large platform 43 feet high above the ground. The temple sits on the hillside, with full of cherry blossom in spring and fall colors in fall.
Kinkaku-ji Temple : Known as the Golden Pavilion, the exterior of this Zen structure is all covered with gold. Surrounded by a pond, the reflection of the Golden Pavilion is also famous when water is completely silent.
Ryoanji Temple : The temple's Rock Garden (Seki-tei www.ryoanji.jp) is the iconic and utmost Zen space. The temple's garden is decorated with breathtaking views yet only with rocks and moss. There are 13 rocks displayed on gravels, but their locations are precisely calculated, so that there are always only 12 rocks visible from any direction.
Gi-on District : Kyoto's old commercial district. There are still many historic stores selling Kyoto's local favorites such as tofu products, green teas, kimono fabrics, etc. Many traditional style town houses also still remain in this district, which creates a nostalgic beauty of the world of traditional Japan.
Side Trip : Take a day trip to Nara, where the original capital was founded. Nara celebrates the 1300th anniversary of the foundation this year, and this truly ancient city has the world's oldest wooden structure Horyuji Temple which was built in 607, and the 161 feet tall sitting Buddha statue housed in Todaiji Temple.
© JNTO, Yasufumi Nishi
- Dining: For local food, go beyond sushi, and experience Japan's casual dining that reflects seasonal flavors.
- Mt. Fuji: Don't miss Mt. Fuji on your right if you take the bullet train for Kyoto. It is between Odawara, the gateway to Hakone, and Nagoya stations.
- Transportation: Japan has the fabulous train system everywhere, and the Rail Pass makes your travel affordable: JR (Japan Railways Co.), the largest train operator in Japan, offers JR Pass exclusively for foreign travelers. For your 10-day stay in Japan, take advantage of this 7-day rail pass when moving from Tokyo to Hakone, and this even covers local trains around Tokyo and Kyoto as well. The Pass must be purchased within the US, receive the voucher and validate the pass in Japan. See http://www.japanrailpass.net/eng/en001.html to find US retailers.
Please see http://www.japantravelinfo.com/special/index.php on Japan Tour Package Special Deals.
Copyright © 2009 Japan National Tourism Organization
Get to Know Japan : The Teacher's Workshop at the Consulate-General of Japan
By Mark Willner
Chief instructor of the course
Former Chairman, Social Studies Department, Midwood High School at Brooklyn College
For the last several years, the number of Americans who have visited Japan has increased. Yet, there is a group of Americans this year who will have made some extraordinary visits to the land of the rising sun. They are 25 New York City public school teachers who, between March and June, will have made 15 "round trip peregrinations" across the Pacific Ocean. How can such movements be explained?
Full disclosure now requires that the truth be told. These voyages can perhaps be best described as virtual and academic. The teachers are enrolled in a unique in-service course entitled "An Introduction to Japan: History and Culture." As a 30 hour course divided into fifteen sessions, it is given under the auspices of and with the approval of the After School Professional Development Program (ASPDP) of the New York City Department of Education, and sponsored by the Japan Information Center of the Consulate-General of Japan in New York. Held on the site of the Consulate at 299 Park Avenue in Manhattan, the course is now in its twentieth year. Given every year since 1990 to a different set of teachers, this scholarly venture will have approximately 500 alumni by June, 2010. It is the longest-running in-service course among many that have been offered by the Department of Education. Registrants can earn three professional development credits, applicable to salary increments, by completing specific requirements: satisfactory attendance, and achieving successful grades on a term paper and a final examination.
The course is open to teachers of all levels and disciplines, kindergarten to 12th grade. The syllabus is designed to provide for a variety of topics, akin to an academic smorgasbord. This semester's schedule includes geography, history, the tea ceremony, religion, language, fine arts, education, literature, pop culture, politics, traditional music, ikebana, economics, and Japan-U.S. relations. The presenters are drawn from leading universities, cultural institutions, the business community and the Consulate-General, with specific expertise in their subjects. Thanks to the efforts of the presenters as well as the Japan Information Center, teachers are given a wealth of materials for their own background as well as for use with their students. These include monographs, booklets, posters, maps , videos, etc. At each two-hour session, there are tasty Japanese refreshments. (After all, when people are "traveling long distances", they need some nourishment.)
The origins of the course go back to meetings held in the late 1980s between Ms. Joan Hartman-Goldsmith (former head of the Institute for Asian Studies), officials of the Japan Information Center, and Mr. Mark Willner ( the then Chairman of the Social Studies Department, Midwood High School at Brooklyn College.) As a New York City public schools educator Mr. Willner had previously taught at Morris High School in the Bronx and at Wadleigh (Harlem) Evening High School in Manhattan. Although he retired in 2005 , after a 42 year career, he is known as an active educator in teaching and promoting the study of Asia -; in particular, Japan. He has been to Japan several times (once as a Keizai Koho Center Fellow), was a recipient in 2006 of the Consul General of Japan Commendation Award, and is a published author of global history textbooks and a Regents review book.
As the course evolved over the years, Mr. Willner was the link to and representative of the Department of Education. He performed administrative duties and gave some of the presentations. Yet, most of the arrangements for the presenters and their presentations, as well as for numerous logistics, were due to the splendid efforts of members of the Japan Information Center. For the last four years, the person most responsible for these tasks has been Ms. Noriko Furuhata. In her capacity as Program Coordinator, she has been an instrumental figure in making the course possible. Her warmth and cordiality have been cheered and admired by all the educators who have taken the course during her tenure.
The course stands as an acclaimed educational and cultural bond between the United States and Japan - a nation with whom, said former U.S. Ambassador Mike Mansfield, America has "its most important bilateral relationship."
For more information, please check: http://www.ny.us.emb-japan.go.jp/en/g/03.html
On March 11th, I attended a preview for the "Graphic Heroes, Magic Monsters: Japanese Prints by Utagawa Kuniyoshi from the Arthur R. Miller Collection" exhibit. My friend, Joe Earle, Director of the Japan Society Gallery and organizer of the exhibition, pointed out in his press release that Kuniyoshi's ukiyoe work is considered to be the prototype for Japanese manga and animation, which are quite popular in the US. In this sense, I believe it is important to mention that Utagawa's work is crucial to understanding the development of Japanese pop culture. The exhibit was organized by the Royal Academy of Arts in collaboration with Arthur R. Miller and the British Museum. This is the first major exhibition of Kuniyoshi's work in the US in nearly 30 years. Coincidentally, the curator for this exhibit, Timothy Clark, the Head of the Japanese Section in the Department of Asia at the British Museum, is an old friend of mine that I met while I was posted in the UK.
Japan Society hosted the "APEC Japan 2010: In Search of a New Vision" luncheon and lecture on March 15th in relation to the forthcoming APEC JAPAN 2010 summit. APEC SOM Chair, Ambassador Shigeru Nakamura, was invited, together with his US counterpart, Senior Official for APEC Kurt Tong, to speak about the central themes of APEC Japan 2010, including regional economic integration, a strategy for promoting balanced, inclusive and sustainable economic growth; and further emphasis on human security issues to protect societies against a multitude of threats including natural disasters, terrorism, food security and pandemics.
Finally, I would like to draw your attention to an important reception held at my residence on March 16th. The purpose of the gathering was to enhance networking both within Japanese-Americans communities and between Japanese-Americans and Japanese residing in the region. The reception included about 80 people representing Japanese-Americans organizations, such as the US-Japan Council and the Japanese American Citizens League. Both organizations have been quite successful in a variety of fields, such as business, culture, academia, and legal circles. The participants expressed their appreciation to the consulate for providing them with an extremely valuable opportunity to interact, given that without the Consulate's initiative, it is nearly impossible for a majority of the participants to get together.
During last year's World Series, it was difficult to choose sides since both the Phillies and the Yankees fall under my Consulate's jurisdiction. This year, in early March, I had the pleasure of speaking at the University of Connecticut (Stamford Campus). Since my visit, I must admit that I have paid close attention to how dominant their women's basketball team has been with its 77- game winning streak. I would like to congratulate them on their victory over Stanford for the 2010 NCAA Women's Basketball Championship title.
In April, there will be many cherry blossom festivals taking place at various places throughout the region. The current issue of Japan Info has a list of festivals in the "Event Calendar" section. I encourage you to take a look and to go out and join the celebration of spring's arrival.
j-Cation: Taste of Japan
There are many Japanese food fans and lovers of Japanese culture in and around New York City. Knowing this, The Japan Society has created an event devoted to offering enthusiasts an opportunity to engage directly with their passion. For those who aren't able to travel to Japan to pursue their enthusiasm, the Japan Society has created j-Cation: Taste of Japan, a day-long open house festival of Japanese culinary culture on Saturday, April 10 from 1PM to 1AM and the next day until midnight.
Want to learn how to order food in Japan and how to write food-related words and phrases in Japanese? There will be classes for both. "Short & Sweet: Single Serving Language Classes" offers basic restaurant and food etiquette. In "Eye Candy: Japanese Calligraphy (Shodo)" classes will demonstrate how to write words and phrases using traditional brush and ink techniques. There will be also be a series of workshops on "Japanese Tea & Sweets 101," focusing on sampling and pairing traditional Japanese sweet treats, wagashi, with loose leaf brewed green tea.
Want to feel like you're eating in Japan? Viewers can feast their eyes on the screening of the must-see, mouthwatering foodie film "Flavor of Happiness" (Shiawase no Kaori) at the Japan Society's theater. The film's story revolves around a woman who apprentices under a well-respected chef at a Chinese restaurant has who become too ill to cook. A novice in Chinese cooking, she learns to cook and continues on as the chef at his restaurant as their relationship evolves from master-apprentice to friendship. Each frame is filled with delicious food, certain to make viewers hungry.
Want to show off your bento skill? Amateur cooks and bento fans from across the country are invited to submit digital photos of their most innovative and aesthetic bento box creations through March 31 on Virtual Bento Box Battle. All submissions will be displayed on a monitor at the show.
Other programs at j-Cation includes "Clash of the Foodies!," Japanese game show-style competition. The ecology-minded program "Furoshiki: It's a Wrap," offers participants guidance on using the elegant and versatile furoshiki (wrapping cloth) to gift-wrap sake or wine and more. Evenings will feature performances by Asobi Seksu, a Brooklyn-based dream-pop band.
Throughout the day, a variety of appetizing Japanese snacks and treats will be available for purchase. Select vendors from local restaurants and retailers will also offer tastes of Japan from popular snacks to unusual food. j-Lounge will offer guests the chance to relax and enjoy Japanese soft drinks, tea, canned coffee, sake and beer from the cash bar.
- j-Cation: Taste of Japan
- Saturday, April 10 from 1PM to 1AM
- Japan Society
- 333 E. 47th Street New York, NY 10017
- For more detailed information on programs: http://www.japansociety.org/
- Open to the public, all ages welcome ($5 suggested donation)
Where to See Cherry Blossom Festivals
Photo: Joseph O. Holmes, courtesy Brooklyn Botanic Garden
After enduring a seemingly interminable winter, we long for the signs of spring. And, as the days grow longer and the sun's rays warmer, we joyfully head to the city's parks to enjoy the natural wonder and beauty of the spring blossoms. Adopting the Japanese tradition for celebrating the arrival of spring, New Yorkers enjoy Hanami (blossom viewing) while picnicking under the blooming sakura trees. As has become New York tradition, Sakura Matsuri (cherry blossom festivals)will be held in and around the city to celebrate this quintessential sign of spring.
One of the largest Sakura Matsuri takes place at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) in Prospect Park. Known as the unofficial start of spring, Hanami at BBG will take place from April 3 to May 2. Park visitors can enjoy the different stages of a variety of blossoming sakura from buds to full bloom. The Sakura Matsuri is scheduled for May 1 and 2 from 10AM to 6PM, for people of all ages with a variety of events including a traditional tea ceremony, taiko drumming, J-Pop artist performances, and rhythmic tap dance.
Courtesy of JAANY
The Japanese American Association will be hosting their annual Sakura Matsuri on Saturday, April 24 from 11AM to 2PM in Flushing Meadow Park featuring traditional drum and Japanese folk dance performances as well as a Karate workshop.
White Plains' 11th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival will be held at Turnure Park in White Plains on Sunday, May 2, from noon to 5PM. There are a number of activities and workshops planned to be enjoyed by the whole family, including origami, a Kimono demonstration, tea ceremony, and musical performances.
The 34th Annual Sakura Matsuri Bloomfest at Branch Brook Park, in Essex County, NJ will be held on Sunday, April 18, from 11 AM to 5 PM. Bloomfest is a family event featuring Japanese cultural activities, including demonstrations of origami, bonsai, ikebana and dance.
© Chris Yeager
In Philadelphia, the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival runs from March 5 to April 17. Following its record-breaking attendance in 2009, the 2010 Festival offers visitors a mix of new events and old favorites. New this year is a Kyogen performance at University of Pennsylvania on March 24 and Rakugo performed in English at Villanova University on March 29. Kyogen is a traditional comic form of theater similar to Noh. Rakugo is a traditional "sit-down" style of comedy. Two highlights of this year's festival are an amateur sushi making contest on April 8 and Sakura Sunday, a day of picnicking and performances at Fairmount Park's Horticulture Center on April 11.
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden
- Celebrating the Cherry Blossom-Viewing Season at Brooklyn Botanic Garden
- April 3 - May 2
- SAKURA MATSURI:
- BBG's 28th annual Cherry Blossom Festival
- Saturday, May 1- Sunday, May 2, 10AM - 6PM
- Free with Garden Admissions
- Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia
- March &April 2009
- Sakura Sunday
- Sunday, April 11, 11AM to 4PM
- Faimount Park's Horticulture Center
- For more information, please visit http://jasgp.org/cherryblossomfestival/
- Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival
- Sunday, April 18, from 11AM to 5PM
- The Cherry Blossom Welcome Center in Essex County Branch Brook Park, Newark.
- List of more event, please visit www.essexcountynj.org/
or call at Essex County Park Department 973-268-3500.
- 6th Sakura Matsuri
- Saturday, April 24, 11AM to 2PM
- at Flushing Meadows Corona Park
- For more information, please call Japanese American Association at 212-840-6942.
- 11th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival
- Sunday, May 2, noon to 5PM
- Turnure Park
- 20 Lake Street, White Plains, NY 10603
- For more information, please contact 914-774-3187
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