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Sakura Matsuri 2012, Washington D.C.

Published April 16th, 2012

This year marks the centennial anniversary of Japan's gift of 3,000 cherry trees to the District of Columbia. The National Cherry Blossom Festival, or the Sakura Matsuri, is a festival in the District that not only marks the beginning of spring, but also a celebration of Japanese culture. This event brings in not only local talent, but performers from as far as Japan to the street festival for live music, arts and craft shows, as well as cultural performances. The event hosts a variety of vendors providing traditional food, clothing, and arts & crafts, all of which tend to be reasonably price for a festival. The best part of the event has to be the visitors in colorful traditional Japanese dress, such as kimonos, as well as characters in manga and anime costumes. The Akihabara and Harajuke styles of dress are fully represented during the festival, and overall it's a fun time to get out and experience a wonderful cultural event in the District.

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Torii in the District

A look through model torii to the Capitol building on Pennsylvania Avenue. Torii are gates which are commonly found at the entrances of Shinto shrines throughout Japan. These gates appear in a variety of landscapes throughout Japan, from neighborhoods like Shinjuku in tightly-packed Tokyo, to peaceful mountain passages in Kyoto, such as the popular Fushimi-Inari shrine.

  • April 14th, 2012
  • NIKON D7000
  • 35mm / f/4.5 / 1/1000 sec

Kimono Model at the Sakura Matsuri, D.C.

A vendor modelling beautiful kimonos and sunglasses in front of a mirror at the festival. I was lucky to get this shot because after she noticed me, she stopped modeling and stepped out of my frame out of courtesy.

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A vendor selling jewelry at the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

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Another vendor selling full-body teddy-bear like suits at the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Several attendees at the festival wore colorful suits, similar to these, of famous characters from Japanese manga and anime series.

  • April 14th, 2012
  • NIKON D7000
  • 35mm / f/2.8 / 1/1000 sec

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Another vendor selling anime head-gear and stuffed dolls of anime characters at the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

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At the children's tent at the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The festival had attractions for all ages.

  • April 14th, 2012
  • NIKON D7000
  • 35mm / f/5 / 1/125 sec
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A young woman in traditional dress racing through the street at the festival.

  • April 14th, 2012
  • NIKON D7000
  • 35mm / f/2.8 / 1/400 sec
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A man relaxes on the street while listening to a performer play traditional music on the shamisen, a stringed instrument played in Japan.

  • April 14th, 2012
  • NIKON D7000
  • 35mm / f/4.5 / 1/640 sec

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