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Sakura Matsuri 2018: What you need to know about the cherry blossom festival

The 38th annual cherry blossom festival is happening this weekend.
sakura matsuri 2018
Milky Lin (L),19 and her friend Camellia Zhong, 18, wear Lolita style fashion at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Cherry Blossom Festival on April 29, 2017 in Brooklyn. Credit: Getty Images

Spring is finally here and Brooklyn Botanic Garden is ready for Sakura Matsuri 2018.

Now in its 38th season, Sakura Matsuri 2018 will continue the tradition of celebrating all forms of Japanese culture this weekend. There will be 60 different events including workshops, martial arts demonstrations, manga workshops and live music this weekend.

Spectators can also take a stroll through Cherry Esplanade to see more than 200 trees that have started to bloom, so get ready for your photo opp.

If you’re ready to enjoy the outdoors and celebrate traditional and Japanese culture, here’s everything you need to know to get the most out of Sakura Matsuri 2018. 

When is Sakura Matsuri 2018?

The annual cherry blossom festival at Brooklyn Botanic Gardens will be held Saturday and Sunday, April 28 and 29 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. A complete list of events for each day is located on the Brooklyn Botanic Garden website. 

Sakura Matsuri 2018 tickets

If you’re already a member of BBG, your membership fee covers your Sakura Matsuri 2018 ticket. An adult ticket will cost $30, while students over the age of 12 and seniors over the age of 65 pay $25 with a valid ID.

If you’re looking to go both days you must purchase a separate ticket for each day. 

For each day, the last admission time is at 5:30 p.m. EST.

 According to BBG, if you plan to buy tickets at the event, only a limited amount will be sold on the day of the event at the 455 Flatbush Avenue and 990 Washington Avenue entrances. It’s a lot better to purchase tickets online to avoid any frustrations. 

Sakura Matsuri 2018: Enjoy the Cherry Esplanade

How to get to Sakura Matsuri 2018 at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

If you’re a New Yorker, you know service can be a little different over the weekend than during the week. Here’s the best way to get to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden this weekend. For a list of MTA service changes visit the MTA Weekender page for the latest transit information.

Subway

Take 4 or 5 Train to Eastern Parkway — Brooklyn Museum station.  

Take  Q or S train to Prospect Park Station

Nearest bus service

B16 to Ocean Avenue
B41 to Empire Boulevard
B43 to Washington Avenue
B45 to Washington Avenue
B48 to Eastern Parkway

If you don’t mind a 10-minute walk to a BBG entrance you can also take:

B16 to Lincoln Road
B41 or B69 to Brooklyn Public Library
B49 to Eastern Parkway
B65 to Classon Avenue

LIRR

LIRR to Flatbush Avenue/Atlantic Avenue Station. Take 4 or 5 Train or B41 bus.

Tips for enjoying Sakura Matsuri 2018

 According to Brooklyn Botanical Garden, there are few things to keep in mind before heading down to the cherry blossom festival.

All bags will be searched by security, so it’s probably best to pack light to avoid a long wait.

There will be limited parking available, so your best bet is to use public transportation.

According to BBG, the best time to get there is early in the day or later in the afternoon.

No outside food is permitted with the exception of bottled water and baby bottles. Make sure you leave your picnic spread at home.

 Climbing trees and picking flowers are prohibited. The excitement of the cherry blossoms may entice you to climb a tree or pick flowers for the perfect picture to post to Instagram, but according to the BBG, those activities are not allowed. 

While the two-day event is a celebration of Japanese Culture, BBG encourages cosplayers to avoid bringing objects such as realistic-looking weapons or items made of hard materials to the event. It might be tempting to honor Japanese culture with the highest possible level of authenticity, but any object they see as a prop or weapon will not be permitted inside.

Bicycles and scooters are not permitted inside BBG. If you plan to bike to the event, there are bike racks, but they fill up quickly.

Photos are encouraged for personal use or sharing on social media, but tripods, drones, and serious photo shoots are not. Just get out there, snap a few selfies and keep it moving. After all, you’re there to enjoy yourself, learn about Japanese culture and enjoy the fabulous cherry blossoms of Sakura Matsuri 2018.