Spring means time for sakura 「桜 cherry blossoms」 in Japan. It’s also a season where many festivals take place. A lot of these festivals are centered around the cherry blossom.

Sakurai festival in Okazaki

Sakura (Cherry Blossoms) at Okazaki Koen, Japan
DMC-LX3 (6.3mm, f/4, 1/640 sec, ISO80)
Sakura at Okazaki Koen

These photos are from the Ieyasu Parade and Cherry Blossom Festival in Okazaki. This parade is a spectacle. It celebrates Tokugawa Ieyasu, one of the most famous shōgun in Japan’s history.

At the festival a reenactment of a great battle occurs every year, where a rival clan attacked Okazaki Castle, Ieyasu’s birthplace and stronghold. The reenactment features ninjas attacking a castle, a huge samurai battle, and ranks of samurai firing old rifles.

Sakura and ninja at Okazaki Park
Panasonic DMC-LX3 (12.8mm, f/4, 1/1000 sec, ISO80)
Sakura and ninja at Okazaki Park

In Japanese the festival is known as Ieyasu Gyoretsu 「家康行列 Ieyasu Parade」. The festival is held on the first Sunday of every month at Okazaki Castle Park. The Ieyasu Parade coincides with hanami 「花見 cherry blossom viewing」 in Okazaki, where groups gather under the sakura for parties and the sakura are lit up at night from early to mid April.

See more info and photos about the Cherry Blossom Festival and Iyeyasu Samurai Parade in Okazaki city, Aichi prefecture.

Location of the festival:

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