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1 Apr 2010

Morris Arboretum celebrates Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival this April

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April 1, 2010 Category: Local Posted by:

This spring, the Morris Arboretum will once again host its annual Japanese Cherry Blossom Celebration, in partnership with the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia. The Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival is an initiative of the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia with the goal of fostering a better understanding of the cultural, social and educational customs of Japan in the United States.


In the early 20th century, John and Lydia Morris (founders of the Morris Arboretum) established one of the finest collections of Japanese plants and gardens in the region at their home, Compton, which would later become the Morris Arboretum. To commemorate this heritage, the Morris Arboretum celebrates the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival with a variety of activities this April. The events are for both children and adults, and will celebrate the art, culture and gardens inspired by the 35 varieties of cherry trees that grace the Arboretum with their blossoms each spring. A highlight of the celebration will be a visit by the newly-crowned Cherry Blossom Queen from Tokyo, Japan on April 12 at l0:00 AM.


Two Saturdays, April 10th and April 17th. This celebration of this unique aspect of the Arboretum’s rich Japanese culture and heritage will feature a variety of wonderful activities for adults and children alike, including a visit by the Tokyo, Japan Cherry Blossom Queen on April 12th.


Saturday, April 10,

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Sushi Demonstration – Josh Hunter, of Company’s Coming Catering, will lead an interactive demonstration where participants learn how to make sushi basics such as tuna and California rolls, as well as vegetarian hand rolls. Samples will be available.


Saturday, April 10,

1-2 PM

Traditional Japanese Tea Demonstration – This year, the Traditional Japanese Tea Demonstration will feature Picnic Tea (Chabako), a unique form of the Japanese Tea Ceremony. It was designed to be performed outdoors with its’ four distinct presentations, one for each of the seasons. Weather permitting, this demonstration will be outside.


Saturday, April 10,

2:00 PM

Japanese Garden Elements Tour – This tour highlights the Japanese influence on many areas at the Arboretum, featuring the Hill Garden, the Rock Garden in the Fernery and the Overlook Garden


Sunday, April 11,

1 – 2:15 PM

Creating an Asian Dragon – The dragon in Japan is a friendly symbol of good luck, not the scary creature of Medieval Europe. Allison Zito, Artist and Teacher, Harcum College will teach children a bit of Asian dragon folklore while they create their own colorful animated dragon toys to take home. Children will color, glue and assemble their paper dragon and add arms, hands and a tail. Ideal for ages 3 to 7 years. All materials are provided. Members: $16 and Non-members: $19


Monday, April 12,

10:00 AM -11:00 AM

Visit by the Tokyo Japanese Cherry Blossom Queen – The public is invited as the newly crowned Tokyo, Japan Cherry Blossom Queen takes a tour of the Arboretum to celebrate our rich Japanese culture and heritage.


Saturday, April 17,

10:30 AM and 11:00 AM

Archery Demonstration – Demonstrations begin at 10:30 AM and 11:00 AM. Centuries ago in Japan, archery was regarded as the highest discipline of the Samurai warrior. Today archery has evolved into Kyudo, the ultimate goal of Kyudo is to polish the mind – the same as in sitting meditation. Men and women of all ages practice Kyudo. Physical strength is not a factor. Come and join us for this demonstration and experience this ancient discipline where the qualities of heart and mind at the moment of the arrow’s release.


Saturday, April 17,

11:30 AM -12:30 PM

Japanese Calligraphy – University of Pennsylvania students from the Center for Asian Studies will be on hand to assist people in writing Japanese characters and speaking the Japanese language.


Saturday, April 17,

1:00 PM -2:00 PM

Swarthmore Taiko Drummers – Music & Dance in the Garden: This unique group will perform traditional and traditionally based new works in Japanese style drumming. Always a favorite of the arboretum, the audience will also be invited to experience playing the drums at the end of the program.


Saturday, April 17,

2:00 PM

Japanese Garden Elements Tour – This tour highlights the Japanese influence on many areas at the Arboretum, featuring the Hill Garden, the Rock Garden in the Fernery and the Overlook Garden.


For more information about any of these events, please call 215-247-5777 or visit the Morris Arboretum online at

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