Japan Meets Virginia Beach in Cherry Blossom Festival

Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation put on their 10th annual Cherry Blossom Festival Sunday at Red Wing Park.

This event, celebrating Virginia Beach’s sister city of Miyazaki, Japan, offered the rich culture and beauty of Japanese music, martial arts, creative activities, cultural vendors, demonstrations and tea samples at the Azumaya.

Modeled after the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C., the festival celebrates the goodwill friendship between Japan and the United States, marked more than 150 Yoshino Cherry Blossom trees that were all donated as part of the Miyazaki Garden expansion plan and planted by the Japan Educational Cultural Center and the Miyazaki Sister City Committee in 2005, according to the festival media release.

This year the city dedicated a peace monument. The Peace Monument is constructed of a nine-feet high, 30,000-pound boulder extracted out of the deep mountains of Tennessee. It symbolizes the spiritual serenity of nature, world peace, harmony, and prosperity.

Virginia Beach and Miyazaki have been sister cities since the late 1980’s, and Sister Cities International granted a charter in 1992. Miyazaki and Virginia Beach enjoyed exchanges in the promotion and development of community volunteerism, according to the media release. In 2007, Miyazaki’s eco-park Hagino Dai and Mount Trashmore Park officially becoming “sister parks,” as well as Tallwood Elementary and Miyazaki Minami Elementary School are joined as “sister schools.”