Photo Contest banner photo

This page has been edited on April 26, 2018 for clarity.
Please contact with questions.

Do you have the eye to capture the spirit of our Festival? The 2018 Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival (NCCBF) is proud to announce the 2nd annual NCCBF Photography Contest. The theme for this year’s Festival is the “Spirit of Densho 伝承.” The meaning of densho is to carry on traditions by a new generation.

This year, we are using Instagram to post the finalists photos. There are three awards — a Fans’ Choice Award for the finalist photo that receives the most likes and comments, a Judge’s Choice Award for the finalist photo decided by a panel of judges to have the most artistic merit and best embodiment of this year’s theme, and Honorable Mention.

How to Submit

We are accepting photos via Instagram using the #nccbf51 and #SakuraSnaps and manual submission. There is no need to be an Instagram user to apply.

Via Instagram

  • Follow @nc_cbf on Instagram
  • Post up to 5 separate photos with a title
  • Tag @nc_cb on each photo
  • Add hashtags #nccbf51 and #SakuraSnaps

All submissions will be juried by the NCCBF fans on Instagram.

Via Submission

If you want to submit your photo to the contest, we will post it to Instagram for you. Please submit your photos here. Each person will be allowed to submit up to five (5) photos. Each submission will be posted by a member of the NCCBF team with your title and the hashtages. All selected finalists will have their work displayed on the NCCBF website and receive exclusive prizes. All NCCBF Photography Contest winners will be notified via e-mail or Instagram DM (hence, you will need to follow us for that to work).

How to Vote

The voting procedure is to like and/or comment on the post in instagram on each of the photos. Multiple votes or comments from the same user will be nullified and only the first published vote will be recorded. The Fans’ Choice will be awarded to the photographer whose photo has the most engagement.  

A panel will select the Judge’s Choice winner from among all submissions on exhibit on Instagram. There will be a Honorable Mention selected by the panel. Criteria for judging will be based on whether the images embody the heart and spirit of the Festival and this year’s theme. Judges will consider overall impression, composition, technical merit, uniqueness, and wow factor. This event is open to photographers of all skill levels. Images with all still camera type are welcome including cell phones.

Our Prizes

Judge’s Choice

50th Anniversary Photobook

NCCBF 50 Book coverA Golden Journey – Images of 50 Years of Japanese Culture” features a large collection of photographs documenting the first five decades of the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival, including a section highlighting the 50th festival.  Don’t miss your chance to win a copy of this limited edition 158 page photo book.



Fan’s Favorite

JiNS Prize Bag

Win a JiNS prize bag with a Gift Certificate for a free pair of glasses/sunglasses and the one of a kind Japan case.



Honorable Mention

Tickets to a new movie at New People Cinema

Win a pair of tickets to Haikara-San: Here Comes Miss Modern 

Haikara-San was a very popular 1970s Japanese comic that has been adapted to the modern visuals of today’s anime. It takes place in the Taisho (1920s) era of Japan, with “Haikara” being a trendy word to describe the young girls of the time who tended to act more progressive rather than traditional. Benio, the main heroine of the title breaks the mold of standard traditions which is what made her a popular character when this was first released. Now a new movie bringing Benio and her strong female character back to the screen. Watch the trailer here. Will be Japanese with English Sub-titles.





Click below to submit your coolest Festival photo.

Official Rules

Terms and Conditions of the Contest

  • The promoter of this contest is the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival (NCCBF) aka Sakura Matsuri Inc.
  • By submitting your entry, you agree that these Conditions of Entry apply to your entry.
  • Volunteers or anyone directly connected with NCCBF or Sakura Matsuri Inc. are ineligible.
  • All submitted images must be taken at the 2018 NCCBF in San Francisco’s Japantown area or the Parade route.
  • Photos may be either black/white or color.
  • Only the photographer with the rights to the submitted image may enter
  • Images may not be Photoshopped, digitally manipulated or extremely altered other than B/W color conversion or basic generally accepted darkroom adjustments.
  • Deadline is May 8, 2018 for submission.
  • Finalists do not need to be present to win.
  • Limit of 5 images per contestant. Submit here.
  • Voting and deliberations for both awards will conclude at 11:59:59 PM on May 15.
  • By entering into the contest, entrees agree to give the NCCBF an unlimited, royalty-free license in perpetuity to use contestant’s photographs in social media and marketing materials.
  • The NCCBF Photo Contest isn’t sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Instagram or any other social media used throughout the contest.
  • Using Instagram, or submission of photos is at your own risk.
  • By submitting via Instagram, contestants release Instagram of any liability
  • If the Promotion cannot run for reasons beyond our control (for example, infection by computer virus, mobile network failure, bugs, tampering, unauthorised intervention, fraud, or technical failures), we reserve the right to cancel, suspend, modify or terminate the Promotion (subject to regulatory approval). If that happens, we’ll select a winner from eligible entries received at the time.

Please contact with questions and happy snapping.


Previous Winners

Photography Contest – 2017 Winning Photos