Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival
Frequently Asked Questions

Information on this page will be updated as necessary. Please check back for the latest information about this year’s festival.

When is the 2024 Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival?

Sakura Weekend, the festival’s centerpiece event, is taking place on Saturday, April 13, and Sunday, April 14, 2024, with a Festival Kick-off event on Friday, April 12, 2024. Sakura Weekend will feature music performances, cultural activities, a vendor market, beer garden, and more.

Additional events are scheduled throughout late March and the month of April at venues across the city of Philadelphia, including a very special vocal recital at the Philadelphia Ethical Society, a curated Japanese film series at Lightbox Film Center, cultural demonstrations, sushi classes and contests, and seminar presentations at local universities.

Where does the festival take place?

Sakura Weekend is held at the Horticulture Center and Centennial Arboretum in West Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. Please note that Sakura Weekend programs do not take place inside the Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center, which is also located nearby.

Additional festival programs are scheduled to take place at venues across the city of Philadelphia.

Is the Sakura Weekend festival happening rain or shine?

Yes, programs scheduled for Sakura Weekend will happen rain or shine. There is no rain date.

How do I get there?

Sakura Weekend is held at the Horticulture Center and Centennial Arboretum in West Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. Google Maps >>

  • SEPTA is a preferred transportation partner with JASGP for Sakura Weekend. For information about traveling to the festival on public transit, SEPTA operators are available to assist at 215-580-700. You can also plan your trip online with the SEPTA Trip Planner

  • Driving from the East
    Take Interstate 76 West to Montgomery Drive Exit (341). Turn left at light onto Montgomery Drive; follow signs to parking.
  • Driving from the West
    Take Interstate 76 East to Montgomery Drive Exit (341). Turn right onto Montgomery Drive; follow signs to parking.
  • Taxi and Rideshare
    We recommend setting your destination as the Please Touch Museum on the Avenue of the Republic and walking over to the Fairmount Park Horticulture Center from there (7-minute walk).
  • Bicycle
    Please note that the MLK Drive Bridge from the Art Museum is expected to be closed for renovations until spring 2025. The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia has prepared a map of suggested detours and made it available online.

Additional Cherry Blossom Festival programs are scheduled at venues across the city of Philadelphia during late March and the month of April. Please check individual programs for specific directions and parking information.

Is there parking available?

Vehicles are not permitted to park at the Horticulture Center in Fairmount Park.

During Sakura Weekend, parking is available nearby for $10 per vehicle at The Mann Center (5201 Parkside Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19131). Free street parking is also available nearby on Lansdowne Dr., and additional paid parking is available along the Avenue of the Republics.

Is there an admission fee?

Admission to Sakura Weekend is not ticketed and is free and open to the public.

Admission requirements will vary for other festival programs scheduled during March and April.

Please note that during the festival, tickets will be required as usual to visit Shofuso. Tickets can be purchased up to three weeks in advance via the JASGP website. More Info >>

Support JASGP

Donate today and help Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia continue offering a year-round schedule of inclusive, accessible, and dynamic programming.

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Do I need a ticket to see the cherry blossoms?

Each spring, Philadelphia’s largest concentration of blossoming cherry trees can be found on the grounds of the Horticulture Center and Centennial Arboretum in West Fairmount Park, and a ticket is not required for access.

There is a small selection of cherry trees in the gardens at Shofuso, but most of the cherry blossoms in that area can be found outside the grounds of Shofuso, in the surrounding park, and are entirely accessible without needing a ticket.

Are the 10K and 5K road races happening this year?

The Cherry Blossom 10K and 5K road races will not be taking place during the 2024 festival.

Is there food and/or alcohol to buy?

Yes, there will be plenty of options. Food vendors from our in-person market, and a beer garden will be just outside Shofuso’s walls for the entire duration of the festival.

Can I bring food? Can I bring alcohol?

We encourage attendees to bring their own food and picnic in Fairmount park under the trees, for an authentic ohanami experience. Alcohol consumption is not permitted in West Fairmount Park outside of the designated beer garden area.

Are pets allowed?

Dogs are only permitted on a 6-foot leash on the grounds of the Horticulture Center at Fairmount Park.

What are the dress code and policies for cosplay?

Sakura Weekend is a family-friendly event, and attendees are asked to dress accordingly. JASGP Staff reserves the right to ask an attendee to change or leave if their attire is deemed inappropriate.

Cosplay Props & Weapons

In all cases, final decisions on what constitutes an inappropriate prop belongs to JASGP Staff. If your prop is deemed inappropriate or dangerous to others, you may be asked to leave the event.

Please use common sense when bringing prop weaponry to Sakura Weekend. If you would not carry your item in public, in plain sight, then you should not have it at Sakura Weekend.

  • All prop weapons must be easily identified as being replicas.
  • The maximum prop size is six feet (6’) in any direction.
  • Misuse of your prop, by swinging it or endangering others with it, will result in forfeiture of the prop and/or expulsion from the event.
  • Any weapon that can shoot a projectile or has moving parts will not be permitted. Prohibited examples include, but are not limited to: Water guns/pistols/rifles/blasters, BB/Pellet guns, Crossbows, dart guns, or blow guns.

The following are also not permitted at Sakura Weekend:

  • Live steel: Live steel is defined as any object made of metal that is capable of taking an edge, whether or not the object is actually sharp, and whether or not the object is sheathed.
  • Nunchaku
  • Explosives or chemicals of any kind
  • Handcuffs
  • Airsoft guns
  • Paddles

Props, resin casts, and toys simulating the appearance of firearms will be allowed only if they:

  • Are easily identifiable as toys or props
  • Have no moving parts
  • Are marked with a non-removable orange tip
  • Accepted props
  • Wooden swords including boken, bo sticks, and shinai.
  • Anything made of paper mache or other material that is not dangerous to others (e.g. has no sharp edges, or parts sticking out that might trip people as they walk by).
  • Any metal chains less than three feet (3’). This includes, but is not limited to, chain wallets or chains on non-costume clothing. While you can have chains, you cannot hold the chain like a leash and lead others around the event.
  • Bows will ONLY be permitted if they are strung without tension.

When is this year’s peak bloom prediction?

The hundreds of Yoshino Cherry trees planted in West Fairmount Park and along the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia are expected to reach peak bloom around the first week of April in 2024.

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