Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival (April 9-17)

The 49th Annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival was held during the second and third weekends of April 2016 (Sat. 4/9, Sun. 4/10, Sat 4/16, and Sun 4/17) in San Francisco’s Japantown. Consul General Yamada attended and gave remarks at the Opening Ceremony (4/9), the Queen Program (4/9), the Friendship Reception (4/15), and the Senior Appreciation Brunch (4/17). He also participated in the Grand Parade on Sunday, April 17th. On Saturday, April 16th, Deputy Consul General Watanabe participated in the blessing ceremony of the mikoshi shrine. The Consulate General of Japan held an information booth on all days of the festival, and held Kendama Championships “Sakura Classics” and Sake Tasting Event in the first weekend of the festival.

Cherry Blossom Festival in San Francisco Japantown

Cherry Blossom Festival in San Francisco Japantown

1) Opening Ceremony

At the Opening Ceremony of the 49th Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival, Consul General Yamada conveyed the strong relationship that Northern California and Japan share, and thanked the communities of Northern California for the friendship and support that they have shown Japan.

Remarks by Consul General Yamada at the opening ceremony

Sake Barrel Breaking Ceremony

2) Northern California Cherry Blossom Queen Program

Consul General Yamada gave a greeting at the beginning of the program, congratulating all of this year’s participants for their commitment as well as commenting on the important roles they will play both in their community and between the United States and Japan. Ms. Samantha Beth Tsukiji was crowned the 2016 Cherry Blossom Queen.

Remarks by Consul General Yamada at the Queen Program

Group photo with Consul General Yamada and 2016 Queen and her courts

3) Friendship Reception

Consul General Yamada, along with guests from Japan and all over the United States, attended the Friendship Reception which seeks to promote international and intercultural exchange and understanding between the US and Japan.

Mochi pounding Consul General Yamada joins

Sake toast after Sake Barrel Breaking Ceremony

4) Mikoshi Blessing Ceremony

Deputy Consul General Watanabe attended a purification ceremony for the Kanda Myoji Mikoshi and the San Francisco Taru Mikoshi, the portable shrines carried in the Grand Parade.

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