Frequently Asked Questions
This page is being regularly updated so please check back as we release additional information.
When is the Festival happening in 2023?
The Sakura Weekend is taking place Saturday, April 15 and Sunday, April 16. The festival will feature music performances, cultural activities, a vendor market and more. Additional programming will be happening throughout April at different venues, including a film retrospective at Lightbox Film Center, cultural demonstrations, sushi classes and seminars. Visit subarucherryblossom.org for more information.
Where is the festival taking place?
The Sakura Weekend is being held at the Horticulture Center and Centennial Arboretum in West Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. Please keep in mind that it is NOT taking place inside Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center. Click here for a map of the festival grounds.
Is the festival free?
The Sakura Weekend is free to the public and non-ticketed. However, if you wish to support our work in offering more accessible and inclusive programming, you can make a donation here. Donors will be entered into a raffle to win select prizes. Additional events happening throughout April may require registration and/or paid admission. Please note that tickets will be required as usual to visit Shofuso, and can be purchased up to three weeks in advance at japanphilly.org/shofuso.
Do I need a ticket to Shofuso to see the cherry blossoms?
The largest concentration of cherry blossoms in Philadelphia can be found at the Centennial Arboretum in West Fairmount Park. Shofuso has a few select cherry trees in the garden, but most of the blossoms in that area will be outside in the surrounding park, visible without purchasing a ticket.
When is peak bloom?
The Yoshino Cherry Trees, which can be found along the Schuylkill River and in West Fairmount Park, reached peak bloom on April 1, 2023.
Is the 10k/5k happening this year?
Unfortunately, the race has been canceled and it’s not happening in 2023.
How do I get there?
- Driving from the East: 76 West to Montgomery Drive Exit (341). Turn left at light onto Montgomery Drive; follow signs to parking.
- Driving from the West: 76 East to Montgomery Drive Exit (341). Turn right onto Montgomery Drive; follow signs to parking.
- Taxi/Uber/Lyft: suggested pick-up/drop-off spot is 4300 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia 19131
- across from Carousel House. Follow the walking path by the Please Touch that leads directly to Lansdowne Dr./the back of Shofuso (3-min walk).
- Biking: please note that the MLK Drive Bridge from the Art Museum is closed for renovations. Take a look at suggested detours here.
- SEPTA – Bus Route 38, 40, 43, 64. Plan your trip with SEPTA Trip Planner.
Where can I park? Is there free parking?
Vehicles are not permitted to park at the Horticulture Center. Parking is available for $10 per vehicle at the Mann Center grounds (5201 Parkside Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19131). Street parking is available on Landsdowne Dr., paid parking is also available along the Ave. of the Republics. Vehicles are not permitted to park at the Horticulture Center.
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 permitted on a 6-foot leash on the grounds only.
Can I wear my cosplay costume? Will there be a Cosplay area this year?
There will not be a Cosplay-dedicated area this year, but you are welcome to wear your cosplay costume.
Is the festival happening rain or shine?
Yes, the event is happening rain or shine. There is no rain date.