Mayor Megan Barry joined Consul-General and Mrs. Kinefuchi to set the pace for a number of walkers participating in a 9 o’clock “Sakura Walk”. During the festival opening ceremony that followed the walk, Mayor Barry noted the contributions made by Japanese companies in Middle Tennessee and interpersonal exchange programs such as the Kamakura-Nashville sister city relationship. Consul-General Kinefuchi remarked that 900 cherry blossom trees have been planted in the Nashville area to date, symbolizing how the circle of friendship between Japan and Nashville continues to grow. He also noted that the inaugural “Japan Week” had been held leading up to the Cherry Blossom Festival.
During the festival, which once again broke attendance records by drawing approximately 45,000 people of both Japanese and American communities, guests enjoyed performances by Taiko drummers, choirs, and Japanese martial artists. They also enjoyed exhibitions and goods showcasing Japanese culture, food trucks full of Japanese food, a lecture series (including tea ceremony, Japanese lessons, and information on bonsai), Japanese mikoshi, yukata dressing, traditional Japanese toys, rice cake pounding, and bon odori (summer dance), all in celebration of the friendship between Japan and Nashville.
The Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival will celebrate its 10th anniversary next year. We welcome your ideas and suggestions to make the Festival and Japan Week wonderful events; please direct your insights to the Information and Cultural Affairs Section at the Consulate-General of Japan (email@example.com).