2010 San Francisco Cherry Blossom Festival April 20, 2010Posted by coolmikeol in Events, Otaku.
Tags: 2010, Cherry Blossom Festival, Cosplay, Culture, Japan, Sakura Matsuri, San Francisco
Every April in San Francisco we have our annual Cherry Blossom Festival (Sakura Matsuri). This was the second year for me going and it was great. I went on April 10, the first day and April 18, the last day of the festival.
To see all of my pictures taken from this year’s Sakura Matsuri, visit my Flickr @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/coolmikeol/
On the first day of the festival I took pictures of Japantown and of the Festival itself. I knew for a fact that the first weekend of the festival was the best time to take general pictures of the festival and Japantown because the second weekend of the festival had more events happening such as the grand parade and the cosplay contest, which I would be busy taking pictures of. Another reason for me going on April 10 was because I was going to meetup with other DC.com members, planned by another DC.com member. At the meeting time I was supposed to look for a person holding a self-made DC.com logo flag, but after about 45 minutes later I gave up and took the time to just enjoy the festival and take pictures. In JPTW, there is a store that sells figures and other anime related goods. I saw a very cute Azusa key chain from K-On! and bought it for only 9$. About a couple of hours later I just happened to spot the DC.com flag and briefly talked with them. It’s cool meeting people from online communities that you don’t see face to face.
April 18 was the big day, because it had a couple of main events scheduled for the day such as the grand parade which had a lot of Japanese culture related floats and performances, and the cosplay contest which was my focus of the day. My day started with a 40 minute bus ride from the west side of SF to the civic center plaza, where the parade would start and the cosplay contest would begin. I brought my double (fake) swords back gear wrapped up on the bus for my friend’s cosplay. (The CCP is right in front of City Hall.) I arrived at around 11am to find a few members of my Anime club already there, a few cosplayers. (I did not cosplay.) There were a lot of great cosplay around, this being my first time attending a cosplay event and asking to take pictures of the cosplayers. I’ll let some of these pictures do the talking.
Before 1pm my group left to beat the parade to Japantown. We knew that was going to be extremely crowded on the final day of the festival. I think it’s the most crowded time of the year for it, because any other time of the year it’s deserted. It was about a 20 minute walk from City Hall to Japantown (which I thought would take longer, take a look at google maps to see how far SF City Hall is from JPTW). Our group decided to go and find places to eat, some of the members splitting up to find places that had spaces to eat (which was hard because almost every restaurant and food place in JPTW had a wait line or no space at all). I declined to eat at a restaurant because I wasn’t too hungry to eat a full meal and also I am cheap. I had a Spam Musubi and Guava Hawaiian Sun for only 4$. After eating my meal I knew it would be a while for my group to finish eating at their restaurant so I went around and took pictures, bought a Mio key chain from K-On! from the same store as last week, and found a few more cosplayers to take pictures of. At 3pm my group and I met up at the main area of JPTW, the Peace Padoga for the cosplay contest results. After that we headed for the nearby Hotel Kabuki to rest in the lobby. Pretty much we took over the lobby area as we were a big group. From there my day ended with me taking the bus back home.
I had fun because I got to spend it with people I know and I was able to take a bunch of pictures for my blog and Flickr. It was the first time for me attending a cosplay event rather than just going to the festival and taking random pictures of the festival like last year. Maybe I will go to more events like this in the future, but for now it’s time for me to focus on my upcoming final month of the spring semester of school before summer vacation.