Cherry Blossom Festival

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. You are welcome to bring a blanket or lawn chair for the performances.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​Saturday, April 1 (Rain Date: April 2) | 12:30 - 4:30 pm | Red Wing Park​

Event Schedule

12:45 - 1:00 pm

Introduction | Councilman Wood, Emcee
National Anthem | Mr. Israel Medina, VBFD Master Firefighter Medic
Opening Remarks | Mayor Sessoms​

1:00 - 2:00 pm

Okinawan Music & Dance Performance | Okinawa Sanshin Kai of Virginia Beach and Ryukyu Sokyoku Hozonkai
Volunteer Recognition | Councilman Wood, Emcee
Introduction of Sister Cities Association of Virginia Beach (SCAVB) and Youth Ambassador | Ruth Fraser, SCAVB president and Mindy Medrano (Youth Ambassador)
Karatedo Demonstration | Dai Nippon Butoku Kai Martial Arts and Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation
Koto Performance | Virginia Beach Koto Society
Filipino Dance | School of Creative and Performing Arts, Philippine Cultural Center

2:00 - 3:00 pm

Taiko Performance | Soka Taiko Group
Dynamic Japanese Dance "Yosakoi" | ODU Japanese American Students Association
Koto & Saxophone Performance Virginia Beach Koto Society
Kobudo Demonstration | Dai Nippon Butoku Kai Martial Arts
Hawaiian Hula Dance | Hula Studio Kahanuola

3:00 - 4:30 pm

Jūdo & Jūjyutsu Demonstration | Dai Nippon Butoku Kai Martial Arts and Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation
Taiko Performance | Soka Taiko Group
Iaido / Kendo Demonstration | Dai Nippon Butoku Kai Martial Arts and Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation
Dance Performance | Bayside High School Japanese Club
Volunteer Recognition | Councilman Wood, Emcee
Youth Choir Performance | Cape Henry Collegiate School
Aikido Demonstration | Dai Nippon Butoku Kai Martial Arts and Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation
Okinawan Music & Dance PerformanceOkinawa Sanshin Kai of Virginia Beach and Ryukyu Sokyoku Hozon Kai
Closing RemarksCouncilman Wood, Emcee​

​Interactive Activities

  • Bookmark Making by Local Volunteers
  • 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 by Green Run High School Japanese National Honor Society
  • Crafts by Girl Scout Council of Colonial Coast
  • Face Painting by Virginia Beach Public Libraries


  • Jeweled Treasures Shop
  • Education First
  • Lisa’s All-Day Lips
  • The Doll Closet
  • Obi Obsession​
  • Rakki-Inu Akita Rescue
  • Dominion Green Power​

​Food Vendors

  • Dong’s Food Truck
  • Grace & Sarah
  • Keep It Poppin
  • Skippy’s SnoBalls
  • The Funnel Cake Factory

Volunteers & Participants

Thank you to Dai Nippon Butoku Kai Martial Arts (DNBK), Hula Studio Kahanuola, Old Dominion University, Ryukyu​ Sokyoku Hozon Kai, Sister Cities Association of Virginia Beach, Soka Taiko Group, Virginia Beach Okinawa Sanshin Kai, Philippine Culture Center: School of Creativity and Performing Arts, Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation, Virginia Beach Public Libraries, Virginia Beach Koto Society, Girl Scout Council of Colonial Coast, and school participants:

  • Bayside High School
  • Cape Henry Collegiate School
  • Green Run High School
  • Landstown High School
  • Ocean Lakes High School
  • Salem High School
  • Tallwood High School


The Peace Monument at Red Wing Park

The 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.

​Event Background

​​The festival is sponsored by Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation, the Sister C​ities 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.”

Contact Information