Frequently Asked Questions
Why did you change the festival?
After the difficulties of the pandemic and the social reckoning that continues to accompany it, with funding from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, we launched the Re:imagining Recovery project to better engage our primarily African American neighbors in Parkside and to explore our relationships with the Japanese Americans who helped found our organization.
The festival is part of our expanded mission to deepen relationships with and connections among Asian American and Black communities in Philadelphia through programs that highlight the significant cultural and historical overlap among African Americans and Japanese Americans.
What will the new multi-day festival look like?
The three-day outdoor event will feature multiple live performances and concerts, a small handful of food and drink vendors, and illuminated cherry blossom viewing at night (known as Yozakura in Japanese). This year, no tickets are required so everyone can attend. Attendees are encouraged to bring picnics in West Fairmount Park and enjoy the temporary beauty of sakura.
Is the 10k/5k happening this year?
Because of the festival restructuring, we have decided to cancel this year’s 10k and 5k runs, but you are welcome to run at your own pace under the cherry blossoms! Peak bloom is expected to roll across the city in the first two weeks of April, averaging around April 8th in West Fairmount Park.
Where can I buy tickets?
Since the concerts are free and open to the public, tickets are not required. However, tickets will be required as usual to visit Shofuso, which will be open with extended hours from 11am to 7pm during the festival days (April 8, 9, 10). Tickets to Shofuso must be purchased in advance online at japanphilly.org/shofuso.
Where is the festival taking place?
The concerts will be at the Centennial Arboretum/Horticulture Center in West Fairmount Park, a short walk from Shofuso. Please note that, despite calling it the Shofuso Cherry Blossom Festival, the festival is not taking place inside Shofuso.
Where can I park? Is there free parking?
Vehicles are not permitted to park at the Horticulture Center. Parking is available near the Mann Music Center – just a short walk away – at $10 per car. There will not be a shuttle bus running between the parking lot and the festival location.
Is there a shuttle bus from Center City or 30th St. Station?
There will not be a shuttle bus running between 30th St. Station and the Horticulture Center. Please follow these directions if you are driving or traveling with Uber/Lyft/Taxi:
Location: Horticulture Center, Montgomery Drive & Belmont Avenue (I-76 Exit 341), Philadelphia 19131
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: 4300 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia 19131.
Public transportation: The Horticulture Center is accessible from SEPTA bus routes, 38 and 40 and the 15 trolley.
Will there still be vendors? Is there food and/or alcohol to buy?
We will not be hosting a large vendor market as we have in past years, but there will be some food and drink options in the park. Please note that food vendors will be there only during concert times.
Philadelphia’s Traveling Beer Garden Parks Pop-up, by FCM Hospitality, will be located outside the Fairmount Horticulture Center Arboretum starting on Saturday, April 2nd through on Sunday, April 10th. The beer garden is 21+ to enter with proper I.D. Children, families, and anyone under 21 are welcome to participate if they are accompanied by a legal guardian who has legal identification. Well-behaved dogs are welcome and must always be on a leash.
Can I bring food? Can I bring alcohol?
We encourage attendees to bring their own food and pic-nic in Fairmount park under the cherry trees, for an authentic ohanami experience. Alcohol consumption is not permitted in West Fairmount Park outside of designated beet gardens.
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.