This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001



The annual two-day Sakura Matsuri will beautify Brooklyn this weekend (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Brooklyn Botanic Garden
900 Washington Ave. at Eastern Parkway
Saturday, April 30, and Sunday, May 1, $10-$15

For many New Yorkers, it isn’t really spring until the cherry blossoms are in bloom at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The spectacular trees should be gushing this weekend for the annual Sakura Matsuri, two days of Japanese art, food, and culture that usually is jam-packed with families, photographers, and other celebrants. The weather is currently forecast as partly cloudy with a high of sixty-seven, perhaps not ideal but a whole lot better than rain. There will be special events held throughout the beautiful botanic garden, including a children’s Suzuki recital, anime stand-up comedy, Butoh dance, cosplay cabaret, origami workshops, an ikebana flower exhibit, an interactive tea installation, a vintage kimono display, fish-printing demos, enka poetry, manga and anime artist and book signings, logic puzzles and other games, numerous bonsai events, garden tours, Japanese karate demonstrations, and much more, with such special guests as April Vollmer, Godfather of Sudoku Maki Kaji, Jack Schwartz, Fumiko Allinder, Michele Brody, Grandmaster Kaicho T. Nakamura, and Pokémon voice artist Veronica Taylor; below are some of the recommended highlights.

Hanagasa Odori: Flower Hat Dance Procession, Japanese Folk Dance Institute of NY, Osborne Garden North, 1:00

Nihon Buyo Classical & Ryukyu Buyo Okinawan Dance, Dancejapan with Sachiyo Ito, Cherry Esplanade Stage, 1:15

BBG Parasol Society Promenade, with live music by happyfunsmile, registration 11 a.m.–1 p.m. behind Cherry Esplanade Stage, parade from Cherry Esplanade Stage to Osborne Garden, 3:00

Traditional Tea Ceremony, Urasenke Chanoyu Center, A.T. White Amphitheater, 3:30

Split Spirits/Spirit Splits: A Samurai Drama, Samurai Sword Soul, Cherry Esplanade Stage, 4:15

Taiko Drumming, Soh Daiko, Cherry Esplanade Stage, 12 noon

Origami Paper Folding with Jeremy Aaron Horland, Lily Pool Terrace, 1:00

Butoh Dance, Dean Street FOO Dance, Osborne Garden North, 2:00

Cooking Demonstration: Authentic Dashi Making, with Momo Sushi Shack’s Chef Makoto Suzuki and Phillip Gilmour, A.T. White Amphitheater, 3:00

Cosplay Fashion Show, hosted by Uncle Yo, with live music by Morning Musuko, Cherry Esplanade Stage, 6:15

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