In traditional Japanese thought, the time of ohanami, or viewing of the cherry blossoms, reminds one of the paradoxically fleeting yet enduring nature of life, which is symbolized in the single moment when a cherry blossom petal detaches itself to float earthward. In contemporary Japan, friends joyfully gather whenever the cherry trees, called sakura, blossom.
Ohanami is delightful on the UA campus at the corner of University Boulevard and Stadium Drive. Takemine Mochizuki of Narashino City donated the cherry trees at Shelton State Community College, as well as those in the Narashino Grove of Lurleen Wallace Boulevard. Also, you can view the lovely cherry blossoms at the UA Arboretum, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, and from Interstate 20/59 just east of Skyland Boulevard.
Each year, the CIC, along with the sponsors and participants, holds a Sakura Festival in early spring. The 30th annual Sakura Festival was held on April 9, 2016 at Midtown Mall in Tuscaloosa. The program included a null kumdo sword demonstration, karate demonstration, taiko drumming and Okinawan traditional dance The public was able to learn calligraphy, origami, participate in a Japanese tea ceremony, learn about our sister city, Narashino, and participate in other activities to learn more about Japanese culture.