Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival at Brogdale Collections in Kent

Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival at Brogdale Collections in Kent

On Saturday 21 April I visited the wonderful Brogdale Collections in Faversham Kent to photograph their annual Hanami Cherry Blossom Festival. 

April is my favourite time of year. I love watching nature’s transition from stark bare trees and dull landscapes to green, lush fields and blazes of colourful flowers.  Being a photographer with a huge passion appreciation for Japanese culture and a love of springtime, this was an event that I just couldn't miss.

Hanami is the Japanese tradition of picnics under the cherry blossom trees (sakura) whilst they’re in full bloom. During this time the parks and gardens in Japan are filled with families and friends enjoying the beauty and transience of the blossom trees together before the petals fall. If you’ve never been to Japan then a visit to Brogdale Collections is definitely the next best thing!

Brogdale Collections has the largest collection of fruit trees in the world and their blossom is truly spectacular. With trees flowering in shades from white to deep vibrant vermillion including apples, pears, quince and plums the farm's tractor tours are the perfect way to enjoy the beauty of blossom.

The mini festival was lots of fun and included traditional Japanese entertainment and tasty food. Highlights included a tea ceremony and cultural talk from Akemi Solloway, taiko drumming and sword displays from Kensei Taiko and displays of beautiful bonsai from the Kent Bonsai Club. Visitors could also browse the exhibition housing traditional Japanese artefacts, dress in kimono, try their hand at origami or calligraphy or chat with the Medway Japan Society about Japanese culture.

Of course no Japanese festival is complete with some delicious food and drink! Fresh sushi, hot noodles and chilled green tea were available from Mr Miyagi Sushi Stop with demonstrations showing how to slice and prepare fish and rice sushi. The cherry blossom lemonade and ice creams proved to be popular choices in this glorious British heatwave!

If you missed the festival then don’t despair as you still have the opportunity to picnic under the blossom trees until 7 May. Sample Japanese food, try your hand at origami, dress in kimono and then experience a guided tour of the blossoming orchards before sitting down to enjoy your own hanami picnic. You can find out more and book your tickets here

If you're hosting an event and would like me to photograph it, please get in touch at hello@emilyvalentine.online for rates and availability.

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