BGSU Japanese Club and Asian Studies program invite the public to celebrate 22nd Cherry Blossom Festival

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio -- The public is invited to attend the 22nd Ohanami - Cherry Blossom Festival and celebrate Japanese culture and customs on Sunday, April 2 from noon to 4 p.m. in the Lenhart Grand Ballroom of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union.

Presented by the BGSU Japanese Club and the Asian Studies program, the festival returns as an in-person event this year that is free and open to the public. A variety of activities and performances are planned, as well as the opportunity to sample Japanese snacks, sweets and sushi.

Participants can take part in learning origami, flower arranging and Japanese calligraphy, play games and take part in a tea ceremony, among other activities. Martial arts demonstrations, Taiko drumming and dance performances will take place throughout the day. For the full schedule of events, visit

History of the BGSU Cherry Trees

Visitors to the BGSU campus can also take part in "ohanami" or flower watching when the cherry trees on campus are in bloom. In the 1990s, the BGSU alumni chapter in Tokyo, led by Masatoshi Emori, came up with the idea of donating sakura (cherry) trees to BGSU. His vision was to create a site similar to the Washington, D.C., Potomac River cherry trees. In 2001, the dream finally came true. The alumni in Tokyo donated about 50 Japanese cherry trees to BGSU with the dream of having a wonderful park on campus sometime in the future.

The following year a Japanese company, Tochigi-Fuji, which used to be located in Bowling Green, donated an additional 20 trees. The University also has three trees from Washington, D.C.’s original cuttings, which were a gift from the City of Tokyo to the U.S. during the presidency of Ohioan William Taft. The University’s tree-planting ceremony included a visit by Hope Taft, first lady of Ohio at the time.

In 2010, Dowa THT America, a Japanese company in Bowling Green, donated 10 more trees to celebrate the 10th anniversary.

The BGSU cherry trees are visible on the north side of Alumni Mall near the Kreischer Quadrangle.

Updated: 03/28/2023 02:05PM