The Cherry Esplanade Stage featured six new and returning musical acts this year including Bo-Peep, a grunge-rock trio originally from Fukuoka, Japan.
Samurai Sword Soul, fronted by Sakura Matsuri Master of Ceremonies Yoshi Amao, wowed the crowd with a daring performance featuring swordfights and thrilling performative storytelling.
Additionally, Sakura Matsuri’s popular and expanded series of traditional tea ceremonies returned with tea ceremony master Soumi Shimizu and his daughter Sokyo Shimizu.
The ninth annual Cosplay Fashion Show and Parasol Society Fashion Show kicked off with some of the most creative and intricate outfits.
Manga art, crafts, games and comedy acts also showcased Japanese arts and pop culture. The Japanese Market offered Japanese sweets as well as vintage kimonos, wooden kokeshi dolls, sushi pillows and tenugui wraps.
A tea-making workshop enabled kids to create their own herbal tea bag to take home. Additionally, there was an origami workshop and a series of other kid-friendly activities.