It is cherry blossom time and time for the sakura celebration, which will be held this weekend in Sakura Town, otherwise known as Wahiawa.
"Sakura" is a Japanese word derived from the word "sakuya," which means "blooming." Wahiawa is the only place in the islands where the cherry tree can thrive. Wahiawa has the coldest climate on the island of Oahu, allowing the trees to thrive. The first sakura trees were planted in 1973 by the Wahiawa Nikkei Civic Association.
The celebration of the cherry blossoms will be held this weekend in Sakura Town (Wahiawa). There will be three separate events. The first event, "Sakura Matsuri" (Cherry Blossom Festival), will be held at the Wahiawa Hongwanji Mission, on Saturday, January 31, from 7 to 9 p.m. The evening will include Japanese taiko drums, music and dance. The Cherry Blossom Count will be there as well. For advance tickets, call Evelyn at 621-3659 or, if you choose, you may purchase tickets at the door for $5.00.
The second event, "Sakura Safari-Hana Mi", will be held on February 7th. There will be two trolley tours, at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. The Sakura Safari is a trolley ride which tours Wahiawa and its cherry trees. The trolley ride will be followed by a luncheon and entertainment. Tickets will be sold the morning of the trolley tour for $18 and an additional $5 for those who opt to participate in the luncheon. The trolley tour begins at the Wahiawa Ryusenji Soto Mission. For more information, call 306-1876.
The third and final event will also be held on February 7th at 1:45 p.m. at the Wahiawa Botanical Garden with a "Gifu Sakura No Kai Friendship Tree Planting Ceremony".
If you are a plant enthusiast or just like to enjoy the beauty of nature, this is an event you will want to attend. It is a very unique experience celebrating and viewing the beautiful cherry blossoms in a Hawaiian setting.