The Descanso Gardens just outside of Pasadena is hosting its annual Cherry Blossom Festival, taking place over two weekends, on March 4th and 5th and 11th and 12th. Tickets go on sale to the public starting February 17th, and members get special entry days and extra hours. Past years events have proved to be so successful that reservations are required for this year, so be sure to plan ahead if you decide to go.
In addition to strolling through the blossoms on a guided tour, the Cherry Blossom Festival includes a tree sale with the opportunity to bring home a cherry blossom tree of your own as well as origami activities, traditional and Western music and the opportunity to buy Japanese food including sushi and tempura.
If you can’t make it the Cherry Blossom Festival, then there are still many opportunities to enjoy Japanese culture around town. Although the Pacific Asia Museum is currently closed for renovations until May, they are still hosting various events throughout Los Angeles. And of course, there’s the opportunity to try various types of Japanese eats all around Pasadena.
A’Float Sushi may not be super traditional, but it’s still pretty fun to watch your food go around on a water raft. Or you can order a bowl of noodles from the menu if you’re not feeling like fish.
Roku Sushi has pretty much become a Pasadena staple for elevated sushi. The joint manages to mix traditional with haute California cuisine along with a fine dining experience in the center of Miller Alley, so it’s a perfect place to stop on your way back from the Cherry Blossom Festival. It’s also a nice place to have a drink before or after a movie on the open patio.
Sushi Kimagure is a good bet for a more traditional experience, as Chef Ike has been a favorite sushi chef in Los Angeles for years before opening up in Pasadena a while back.
If you want a more hands on experience check out a Japanese hot pot spot, like O’seyo Shabu Shabu, where you can cook up your own dinner.
And here’s to the cherry blossom season, a first sign of spring.