Committee Member Spotlight: Queen Program Tri-Chairs

For over 50 years, the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Program has been dedicated to developing young women of Japanese descent to become future community leaders. One of the highlights of our Festival is Queen Program Night, where candidates showcase their speech, interview, and creative expression, and it takes a tremendous amount of time…

Committee Member Spotlight: ClarizeYale

If you participated in the NCCBF Scavenger Hunt in the last two to three years, it’s very likely that you were greeted by ClarizeYale’s smile at the second floor entrance of the Center (formerly the JCCCNC).  ClarizeYale is a first-generation Filipina-American artist and illustrator, born and raised in San Francisco. She first started volunteering for…

Committee Member Spotlight: Dave Dunham

The Center (formerly known as the Japanese Cultural Community Center of Northern California or the JCCCNC), in San Francisco Japantown is a unique indoor Festival venue that provides visitors a “one-stop-shop” experience of cultural presentations and performances. This quiet, focused venue allows for various traditional and folk music, dance, and cultural art groups to share…

Committee Member Spotlight: Mark Shigenaga

Our community is very fortunate to have numerous, seasoned photographers like Mark Shigenaga who beautifully capture memories from every corner of our festival grounds, including the following photos.” Enjoy Mark’s photos of our performers and read more about his experience and future hopes for this Festival!  I photographed my first Cherry Blossom Festival in 2009. I arrived…

Holiday Shopping in Japantown

The holiday season has arrived and what better way to celebrate than to support your local retailers! San Francisco’s Japantown is the perfect place to find that perfect holiday gift for your friends and family (and of course, don’t forget to treat yourself too). Each of the shopping locations rigorously follows San Francisco City’s health…

Committee Member Spotlight: Jane Yu

With the virtual nature of the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival in 2020 and continued socially distanced plans for the festival in 2021, these recent festivals will certainly be events to remember. But our volunteers are no strangers to quickly shifting plans and accommodating needs on the fly. PR/Marketing Committee Co-Chair, Jane Yu, reflects on…

Committee Member Spotlight: Kiyomi Takeda

While our Festival has the most prominence in the month of April, a core group of committee members continues to volunteer year-round in preparation for the next. This year was no exception and included the challenge of converting the format into a virtual festival within weeks of the event (before Zoom had become a daily…

A Heartfelt Thank You

What a year 2020 turned out to be.  While we could not come together physically in April, the connections we continue to make online have been a tremendous blessing and source of support.  As November arrived, we want to take this opportunity to thank all of our contributors who help us maintain a sense of…

Halloween Cosplay Contest Showcase & Winners

Tune in to our Halloween Cosplay Showcase video, we’re positively thrilled to share it with you. Thank you everyone for your participation, our funny and scaredy-cat bones were tickled by your cosplay entries. Our social media team reviewed all entries and selected ten (10) finalists for our community to vote on. We’re happy to announce…

Voting is open for Halloween Cosplay Contest!

Thank you for participating in our Halloween Cosplay Contest! Our team reviewed the cosplay photo entries, and we admire and appreciate the cosplayers’ great attention to detail and creativity in their costumes and props. Narrowing down the entries to the finalists was no easy task, as all of our cosplayers submitted great costume photos. We…

2020 Halloween Cosplay Contest is live!

We missed our cosplay parade this year, so we want to showcase our cosplayer community! Let’s celebrate Halloween virtually this year by showing off your crafty, comical, rib-tickling, or spooky spirit in our Halloween Cosplay Contest! This contest is open to all ages. We can’t wait to see your Halloween costume photo submission. The deadline…

Visit Japantown for Outdoor Dining

Now that the sweltering heat has finally passed and the cooler weather is kicking in, it’s time to enjoy some socially-distanced outdoor dining! Japantown boasts some of the best multicultural dining experiences in San Francisco, which means there are plenty of options for whatever you feel like eating. Each of the dining locations rigorously follows…

Picnic at the Plaza Continues!

** Update on 10/31/2020: The Picnic at the Plaza has been extended to November 29. ** by Michelle Heckert Through rain, a heatwave and uncertain air quality, The Center’s Picnic at the Plaza has brought new life to San Francisco’s Japantown and its businesses! Since July, the event has allowed thousands of foodies to experience…

2020 Senior Appreciation Honorees

For the past 33 years, the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival has thanked seniors in the local Japanese American community for their volunteer services. Each year, honorees are nominated by local community organizations. Although this year we were unable to celebrate these remarkable individuals at the Senior Appreciation Brunch, we would like to recognize them…

5 Things I Wish I had Known Before Climbing Mount Fuji

A Beginner’s Guide by Yuki Nishimura In the early summer days of 2018, my friends and I were making plans for our Japan trip scheduled for later that summer. One of my more adventurous friends proposed summiting Mount Fuji, but another in my group felt apprehensive about climbing a mountain because it was something she…

Remembering Toyomi Tanaka

This past December, the NCCBF Organizing Committee and community were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our dear friend and dedicated member, Toyomi Tanaka.  As part of the NCCBF Japan Groups Committee, Toyomi san helped coordinate artists from Japan to perform in the final weekend of the NCCBF. The group’s efforts enrich the Festival’s…

Meet Madame Michiya Hanayagi, 2020 NCCBF Community Marshal

The NCCBF Community Marshal is a designation bestowed on individuals who have made a significant impact on the festival, the Japanese and/or the Japanese American community. Community Marshals have included legacy participants and community leaders. The NCCBF committee is honored to introduce Madame Michiya Hanayagi of the Hanayagi Japanese Classical Dance Group as our 2020 Community…

Our 2020 Festival Sponsors

The Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival would like to express our deepest appreciation to our generous sponsors for their friendship and support for our 2020 festival. We wish you all health and safety during this time and look forward to working together in 2021!

Congratulations to the 2020 Community Service Scholarship Winners

The Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival’s 33rd annual Community Service Scholarship Program awarded two $2,500 scholarships to deserving high school graduates headed to college. Applicants were required to attend an accredited high school with a grade point average minimum of 2.5 on a scale of 4.0 and be actively involved in her or his local…

Original Artwork and Prints Waiting to be Discovered

Our 2020 Virtual Arts & Crafts Fair is packed with talented artisans. If you’re looking for original works of art, this is the perfect place to begin. We often find meaningful pieces in the most unexpected ways. It also happens that you would be supporting our community of artists in a time when we need…

Happy Spring Cleaning & Home Decorating!

As we shelter in place this spring, have you found yourself making progress with various projects around the house?  Are you in the middle of spring cleaning or redecorating your living spaces?! Rearranging a piece or two can certainly freshen up familiar spaces. For inspiration and fun additions to your lovely home, take a look…

2019 Queen’s Farewell by Yuki Nishimura

On behalf of the 2019 Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival Court, I would like to welcome each and every one of you to the virtual 2020 Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival. I have come to love this annual homage to the Japanese American heritage with demonstrations of odori to taiko to ikebana; it showcases the…

The 2020 Virtual Arts & Crafts Fair is Now OPEN!

April 11-19, 2020 The NCCBF Arts and Crafts Fair showcases the talent of handcrafted products and designs of artisans from across the country that embodies the spirit of the festival. The Arts & Crafts Fair typically packs the Buchanan Mall with booths of one-of-a-kind accessories, apparel, artisanal foods, fine arts & prints, handbags, housewares, plushies…