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Welcome Spring and Honor the Renewal of Life at the Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival | Apr 14-16

Tea ceremony, people gathered around a woman seated on a grass mat, holding a cup.
Photo by: Susan Fried

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Experience ancient and contemporary traditions of Japan April 14 – 16 at Seattle Center

SEATTLE – Embrace traditions and cultural arts between the people of Japan and the Pacific Northwest at the Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival Friday, April 14 – Sunday, April 16, 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. Part of the Seattle Center Festál series, this free, in-person festival will take place in the Armory Food & Event Hall and Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center. Join honorary co-chairs Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell and Consul General Hisao Inagaki, in honoring the renewal of life with springtime cherry blossoms and Japanese arts.

This year’s festival presents: The Japan Foundation Traveling Exhibition, “Manga Hokusai Manga: Approaching the Master’s Compendium from the Perspective of Contemporary Comics”, in the Seattle Opera Center Lobby, open April 7, 10-28 and 30; from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. courtesy of Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle.

All other activities will take place in the Armory and Fisher which includes Go lessons, storytelling, history panels, and cultural programs. The festival will also celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Japan-America Society of the State of Washington (JASSW), the 60th anniversary of the Hyogo Business & Cultural Center, and the 45th anniversary of Beikoku Shodo Kenkyukai, which is the art of calligraphy.

Discover koto, shamisen, and taiko sounds, live music from Ichi Bichi and Moopsie and traditional Buyo, Japanese and contemporary dances. As well as mechanical dolls from Tanimoto Karakuri Ningyo, ikebana demonstrations, martial arts, music, tea ceremonies, food and children’s activities. Culinary delights include bento, ramen, musubi, and mochi from local vendors such as Tokara Japanese Confectionary, Ramen-Ya Teinei, Setsuko Pastry, and more. There will also be opportunities to experience ancient and contemporary traditions of Japan, like kimono dress-up and sake tasting.

“The magnificent blooms of the cherry blossom trees are a symbol of our City’s deep connections to Japan and the strength and resilience of our Japanese community,” said Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell. “As we continue to build One Seattle, we remain committed to bringing communities together to uplift our diversity and celebrate our commonality. The Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival is an excellent opportunity to honor the history and vibrant cultural traditions of our Japanese community through music, art, and food.”

““Festál is a year-long chance for the Seattle area to come together and celebrate its diverse community,” said Marshall Foster, Seattle Center Interim Director. “Celebrating the renewal of spring at the Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival is something we look forward to all year at Seattle Center. It is a great example of what makes Seattle and Seattle Center so special and unique.”

Seattle Center Festál is a public program presented by Seattle Center in partnership with Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival. Admission is free of charge. For more information on this festival, visit, and to learn more about this collection of ethnic cultural events, or call 206-684-7200.

About Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival History

The Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival was initiated on May 8, 1976, when Japan’s former Prime Minister, Takeo Miki, gifted 1,000 cherry trees to Seattle in commemoration of America’s bicentennial and the long friendship between the people of Japan and Washington state. Information on the festival is available at and, as well as on Facebook and YouTube.

About Seattle Center Festál

Seattle Center Festál cultivates a deeper understanding of the cultures and ethnic diversity that contribute to the rich vibrancy of the Pacific Northwest. This unique series links together 24 free festivals presented on weekends from January to November, each with its own cultural focus, identity, and range of engaging activities. Seattle Center Festál is Where the World Gathers to celebrate the people, the places, the stories, and the traditions of the city’s communities. Seattle Center Festál is produced in partnership with 24 different community groups and supported by City of Seattle, Seattle Center Foundation, 4Culture, and KUOW. Festál is also part of the ArtsFund Cultural Partners Network.

About Seattle Center

Connect to the extraordinary at Seattle Center, an active civic, arts, and family gathering place in the core of our city and region. Seattle Center’s 74-acre campus, centered around the International Fountain, is part of the Uptown Arts & Cultural District and home to Climate Pledge Arena; more than 30 cultural, educational, sports, and entertainment organizations; and a broad range of public and community programs. In everything it does, Seattle Center’s mission is to create exceptional events, experiences, and environments which delight and inspire the human spirit to build stronger communities.

In 2023 Seattle Center is expanding its role to provide maintenance and public safety services for Seattle’s new Waterfront Park, a series of new public spaces on Seattle’s downtown waterfront between Pioneer Square and the Seattle Aquarium. Seattle Center will support managing these new waterfront public spaces in partnership with the non-profit Friends of Waterfront Seattle, which offers the community a range of recreational and cultural programming. 

Thanks to the support of Official Seattle Center Partners – Alaska Airlines, The Climate Pledge, Coors Light, Pepsi, Premera, Symetra, T-Mobile, and WaFd Bank – Seattle Center is the #1 arts and entertainment destination in the Pacific Northwest with 12 million annual visitors, generating $1.864 billion in business activity and more than $631 million in labor income annually.