Japan Festival Boston (formerly Haru Matsuri and Japan Festival in Boston) is hoping for this year's matsuri to be twice as large as last year's when 40,000 people attended! It looks like they are also expanding the cosplay portion of the event to be a matsuri within a matsuri. Their website has been updated with much more detailed information including team bios of the folks who are organizing the festival. Also check their Facebook page where there's a lot of information posted that isn't on the website.
|Weaving at SAORI Worcester booth|
2015 Japan Festival Boston
|The grill @ Oga's booth|
2015 Japan Festival Boston
See photos from 2015 Japan Festival Boston.
See photos from 2014 Japan Festival in Boston.
Sunday, April 24, 2016
11am - 6pm
Boston Common at the Beacon & Charles Street corner (near Frog Pond).
See festival map.
How you can help
The festival is not cheap to produce and JREX is crowdfunding with GoFundMe again. One of the rewards is a $75 yukata rental.
They are also seeking volunteers.
The Brookline Cherry Blossom Festival (fomerly Brookline Sakura Matsuri) is also celebrating five years. This very family-friendly matsuri with lots of activities for kids is produced by The Genki Spark (also in their fifth year) and Brookline High School's Japanese Program. The festival has grown every year and while much smaller than the Japan Festival Boston, has a great community vibe and lots of taiko from The Genki Spark and guest artists from around New England: Odaiko New England, Takahashi Minyo Kai, ShinDaiko, Mountain River Taiko, and Stuart Paton & Burlington Taiko. Last year over 1,300 festivalgoers came from all over New England and as far away as Canada.
Food vendors this year are Ittoku, who has been at the festival since they added food vendors in 2014, Itadaki, Japonaise Bakery, and Hana Japan (who host their own Natsu Matsuri every August). The food lines aren't as long as the Japan Festival Boston but if you have young children you should plan ahead. There are no restaurants within walking distance of the high school.
See videos from 2015 Brookline Cherry Blossom Festival.
See photos from 2014 Brookline Sakura Matsuri.
Date & Time
Saturday, April 30, 2016
noon - 4pm
Brookline High School Quad (Rain Location: Schluntz Gym)
115 Greenough Street, Brookline, MA, 02445
Suggested Donation: $5/students, $10-20 families
All proceeds support the BHS Japan Exchange Program Scholarship Fund and promotion of the arts
Disclosure: I would like to note that I am friends with some of the organizers of both of these festivals, however, I publicize them because they are the largest Japanese cultural events in the Boston area, not just because my friends organize them. :)