10Best: Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival

  • Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival

    Each year on the first Saturday of February (February 2 in 2013), Hawaii's Big Island celebrates the Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival. The tradition of celebrating the first appearance of cherry blossoms dates back to the seventh century in Japan, and Hawaii carries on the tradition.

    Photo courtesy of Gabriel Rodríguez

  • An Island in Bloom

    Visiting the community of Waimea takes you off the beaten tourist path and into Hawaii's cowboy country. Special blossom viewings and events will be held throughout the community in locations marked by pink banners. At Church Row Park, you'll find several of the area's historic cherry trees as well as booths selling local crafts, foods and bonsai trees.

    Photo courtesy of Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival

  • A Festival of Japanese Culture

    The Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival is about more than just cherry blossoms. It's a celebration of Japanese culture, and in addition to blossom viewings, you'll see martial arts demonstrations, cultural performances and hands-on entertainment.

    Photo courtesy of Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival

  • Feel the Beat of Taiko Drummers

    One of the festival's biggest crowd pleasers is the Taiko drumming demonstration. In this traditional Japanese musical tradition, an ensemble made up entirely of various types of drums give a dance-like performance that you can feel thrumming through your body.

    Photo courtesy of Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival

  • Enjoy a Japanese Tea Ceremony

    During this year's 20th anniversary celebration, visitors will have the opportunity to participate in one of Japan's most important traditions, the tea ceremony, held at the Parker Ranch Historic Homes. If you can't make it to DC or Tokyo this spring, you can still check out the cherry blossoms in Hawaii.

    Photo courtesy of Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival


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