Japan-America Society of Washington DC’s Sakura Matsuri – Japanese Street Festival is the largest celebration of Japanese culture in the United States.
Sakura Matsuri celebrated its 60th Anniversary on April 9-10 2022. The event attracted over 40,000 visitors over two days, and is the largest of Washington DCs world famous National Cherry Blossom Festival.
Sakura Matsuri – Japanese Street Festival will return on the weekend of April 15, 2023.
Between 7th St NW & 3rd St, Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004
Over two days, Sakura Matsuri – Japanese Street Festival brings Japan into the heart of the Nation’s Capitol. Stretching from 3rd to 7th streets NW on Pennsylvania Ave at the base of Capitol Hill, the festival features over 24 hours of Japanese cultural performances, authentic Japanese food and beverages, handmade Japanese crafts, and so much more.
Japan-America Society of Washington DC’s Sakura Matsuri – Japanese Street Festival, along with our National Japan Bowl Japanese Language Competition, celebrate the cherry trees that Japan gifted to the United States over 110 years ago, and which have come to define springtime in the Nation’s Capitol. We are proud to join this cooperative effort alongside the Embassy of Japan, the Government of the District of Columbia, the National Park Service, the National Cherry Blossom Festival, Inc., National Conference of State Societies, and many other dedicated partner organizations. The Sakura Matsuri is proud to participate in the National Cherry Blossom Festival as a Premier Event.
- If attending Saturday, Try to arrive before noon or after three o’clock to avoid the post-Parade rush and potentially longer lines at the entrance gates. Buy your tickets online in advance for fastest entry.
- If you plan to have lunch in the Taste of Japan area, grab your food early! Lines from noon to 3 can be long. There will also be a wide range of Japanese snacks available at the Matsuri Markets. You are welcome to bring food and non-alcoholic beverages into the Matsuri.
- If you plan to watch performances, some seating will be available, but feel free to also bring a packable chair.
How to Get to the Matsuri
- METRO: The Sakura Matsuri is just across for the exit of the Archives-Navy Memorial (Yellow/Green Lines), and just south of Judiciary Square (Red Line)
- Capital Bikeshare: There is a bike dock right next to the Sakura Matsuri
- Car Parking: There is also plenty of parking in the area, and you can even reserve it!
- DC Circulator Bus: This $1 bus runs every 10 minutes from Union Station Metro station!
Metro fare lines can be long, so try to buy your Metro SmarTrip fare ahead of time. If you purchase your fare Saturday morning, you should buy a round-trip ticket to avoid a second wait at the machines in the afternoon.
Sakura Matsuri tickets can be bought in advance online and at the gate on the day-of. Children 12 and under always free. Ticket sales on the day of the festival are cash and card. There will be special entrance lanes for pre-paid ticket holders, so we encourage you to get your Sakura Matsuri tickets on-line before you come, though we will have ATMs stationed at each entrance. (By DC Law gates may close at anytime due DC maximum capacity laws.)
- There are three entrance gates at the Sakura Matsuri. Entrance lines can be long, so check the festival map on the day to find the most convenient entrance for you. Purchasing a ticket at the gate is $15 for adults, free for children 12 and under, and is cash only the day of the Matsuri. ATMs will be located at all entrances.
Sakura Matsuri Mascot
Sakura Usagi, or Sakura-chan, had always wanted to visit the United States and was thrilled when JASWDC offered her the position of Sakura Matsuri Mascot. As a rabbit, she symbolizes springtime, harmony, and good luck in Japan.
Now, she works hard every spring to bring Japanese culture to Washington, DC. On April 9-10, hop over to the Sakura Matsuri to see Sakura-chan and everything she’s brought with her from Japan!
As the mascot for the Sakura Matsuri, Sakura-chan will be the face of the festival, and you’ll see her throughout the website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more fun facts about and activities with Sakura-chan.