Cherry Blossom Festival

​​​​​Saturday, April 2 | 12:30 - 4:30 pm | Red Wing Park

Join us as we celebrate Virginia Beach’s international sisterhood with Miyazaki City, Japan, at the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. This event offers the rich culture and beauty of Japanese music, martial arts, creative activities and various demonstrations.

Admission and parking is free. Food and beverage are available for purchase. You are welcome to bring a blanket or lawn chair for the performances.

Exhibitor Opportunities Available - Become an exhibitor!​ ​

Event Highlights

Emcee: Councilman James L. Wood - 1:00 - 2:00

Welcome Councilman James L. Wood | City of Virginia Beach

​National Anthem - Israel Medina, VBFD Master Firefighter Medic

​Remarks - Honorable William D. Sessoms, Jr. | Mayor, City of Virginia Beach

​Koto Performance (Japanese Instrument) - Virginia Beach Koto Society

​Volunteer Recognition - Councilman Wood

​Taiko Performance (Japanese Drum) - Soka Taiko Group View Video​

​Karatedo Demonstration - Dai Nippon Butoku Kai Martial Arts​ & Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation

Judo Demonstration - Dai Nippon Butoku Kai Martial Arts & Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation

2:00 - 3:15

Okinawa Dance and Folk Song - Okinawa Sanshin Kai of Virginia Beach & Ryukyu Sokyoku Hozon Kai

​Jujutsu Demonstration - Dai Nippon Butoku Kai Martial Arts​

​Middle School Drum Club - Bayside Middle School Drum Club

​Kobudo Demonstration - Dai Nippon Butoku Kai Martial Arts

​Koto Performance - Virginia Beach Koto Society

​Iaido/Kendo Demonstration (Art of Sword Skills) - Dai Nippon Butoku Kai​ Martial Arts

3:15 - 4:15

Taiko Performance - Soka Taiko Group

​Aikido Demonstration - Dai Nippon Butoku Kai Martial Arts​ & Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation

​Volunteer Recognition - Councilman Wood

​Okinawa Dance and Folk Song - Okinawa Sanshin Kai​ of Virginia Beach & Ryukyu Sokyoku Hozon Kai

Closing Remarks - Councilman Wood

​Interactive Activities

  • Bookmark Making by Local Volunteers
  • Calligraphy & Chopstick Game by Old Dominion University Japanese Program
  • Japanese Crafts, Games & Face Painting by Ocean Lakes High School Japanese National Honor Society
  • Fishing Games by Tallwood High School Japanese National Honor Society
  • Barley Tea Samples at the Azumaya House


  • EF Language Travel
  • The Doll Closet
  • Island Republic
  • Oberweis Dairy
  • Righteous Asia

​Food Vendors

  • Bobby Q
  • Capt'n Crabby
  • Keep It Poppin'
  • Spuds
  • The Funnel Cake Factory

Thank You to Our Volunteers & Participants

Dai Nippon Butoku Kai Martial Arts (DNBK), Old Dominion University, Ryukya Sokyoku Hozon Kai, Sister Cities Association of Virginia Beach, Soka Taiko Group, Virginia Beach Okinawa Sanshin Kai, Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation, Virginia Beach Public Libraries, Virginia Beach Koto Society, and Virginia Beach City Public School Participants:

  • ​Bayside Middle School
  • Bayside High School
  • Cox High School
  • Green Run High School
  • Landstown High School
  • Ocean Lakes High School
  • Tallwood High School

The Peace Monument at Red Wing Park

peace-monument.jpgThe Peace Monument is constructed of a 30,000 lb. boulder extracted out of the deep mountains of Tennessee. This nine foot high monument symbolizes the spiritual serenity of nature and the eternal prayer for world peace, harmony and prosperity as evidence by the Sister City relationship between Miyazaki City, Japan and the City of Virginia Beach since 1992. This project is in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of USA DNBK Bushin Kan Dojo, established by Dr. Hiroyuki Tesshin Hamada, Professor Emeritus of Old Dominion University and Miyazaki City, Japan, and Sister City Coordinator of both Norfolk and Virginia Beach. The Japanese Education Culture Center Inc. and Hanshi, Takemichi Kuwahara and Honbu DNBK Japan, as well as participating DNBK members worldwide, generously contributed to the funding for this project.

The festival is sponsored by Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation, the Sister Cities Association of Virginia Beach, the Japan Education Culture Center Inc., and supported by the Virginia Beach Koto Society, Old Dominion University Martial Arts program and Virginia Beach City Public Schools Japanese programs and clubs.

Modeled after the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C., the Virginia Beach Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the goodwill friendship between Japan and the United States, marked by the 150 Yoshino Cherry Blossom trees which were all donated as part of the Miyazaki Garden expansion plan and planted by the Japan Educational Cultural Center and the Miyazaki Sister City Committee in 2005.

Since the early 1980s, the City of Virginia Beach and Miyazaki City, Japan, have enjoyed many fruitful grass-roots exchanges which led them to become Sister Cities in 1992. In 2007, Miyazaki’s eco-park Hagino Dai and Mount Trashmore Park officially becoming “Sister Parks.” In addition, through our Sister Cities relationship, Tallwood Elementary and Miyazaki Minami Elementary School became “Sister Schools.”


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