There will be a Cherry Blossom Festival at Japanese American Historical Plaza this coming Sunday, April 3rd, from noon to 3pm. Come and enjoy picnic and taiko performance under cherry blossoms! Japanese American Historical Plaza is right next to Saturday Market in downtown Portland. It's free and open to public event, however, Mercy Corps will be collecting donations for Japan Earthquake fund. I love going to this park this time of year, to view cherry blossoms. This year, they are not yet in full bloom, since we are having such a cold, rainy spring. I hope it'll still be a nice sunny day for a picnic and cherry blossom viewing. Here is more info.
I love the Japanese tradition of cherry blossom viewing. Cherry trees blossom around the end and the beginning of fiscal year, so it's also a reminder of ending and beginning of school and work in Japan. It's usually a busy time of year for events such as farewell parties, welcome parties, weddings, festivals, and cherry blossom viewing parties. But since Japan had recently suffered a huge disaster and still dealing with a lot of issues, I hear that many businesses and schools are canceling such events. A lot of people are also refraining from going out. I understand that the whole country is still mourning, but this is not good for the economy. People who are not affected need to try to go on with their lives, so that the economy can still circulate. I am glad that Portland is still having a cherry blossom viewing celebration, and actually using the event as a way for people to come and donate for Japan.