It’s Sakura Time In Wahiawa
The cherry blossoms are abloom this winter in Wahiawa (the coldest place on Oahu), and in honor of the season and the trees, volunteers have planned a festive celebration Jan. 30 and a trolley tour Feb. 7.
Sakura Matsuri runs from 7 to 9 p.m. Jan. 30 at Wahiawa Hongwanji with entertainment, a meet-and-greet with Hawaii’s Royal Cherry Blossom Court, Japanese music and dance, and the rhythmic sounds of taiko drums. As Wahiawa is home to many of the island’s thriving flowering cherry trees (many planted in 1973 by Wahiawa Nikkei Civic Association), what better place to hold such a time-honored traditional event? Tickets cost $5 at the door, or for preordered tickets, call Evelyn at 621-3659. You may win a sakura of your own.
On Feb. 7, join WNCA at Wahiawa Ryusenji Soto Mission at 9 a.m. for the “Sakura Safari-Hana Mi”— a special trolley tour through the town to see the sakura trees in the community. Members of United Japanese Society ofHawaii and WNCA host the affair, and local celebrities will narrate the tour of curious and historical places. Cost is $18 for the trolley ride, $5 for the “Kitchen Delight” bento (optional). Group A departs at 9 a.m.; Group B at 11 a.m., and each tour lasts about 90 minutes. Reservations are required for seating on the trolley and can be made by calling 306-1876.
(above) Traditional Japanese dancers Bando Shihonami (left) and Bando Yukihikari entertain the audience with “Kamuro Jishi” at 2009’s Sakura Matsuri. (right) Trolley passengers disembark for a closer look and photo op in front of a Wahiawa home during last year’s ‘Sakura Safari - Hana Mi.’
Husband-and-wife team Wesley and Sandy Endo perform ‘Hana Mo Arashi Mo’ during last year’s Sakura Matsuri. The couple will return to entertain again this year at the winter cherry blossom festivities. Photos by Rene Mansho.