As winter recedes in Japan, the centuries-old tradition of hanami, the gathering of family underneath blossoming cherry-tree branches, begins. The foliage, known as sakura in the Land of the Rising Sun, symbolizes a Buddhist philosophy portraying the beauty of life, with its brevity and renewal. As the plants bloom, people meet below the floral canopies, celebrating the rewards of living and rebirth and feasting on sake and food. Since 2011, Descanso Gardens has observed the ancient tradition in feting the pastel petals with traditional Japanese cuisine, music and guided tours. This spring, we all could use a little renewal.


The Cherry Blossom Festival at Descanso Gardens.
After the winter rain deluge, we need a seasonal change.
1418 Descanso Dr., La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011
Mar. 4, 5, 11 & 12, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Reservations required. Buy tickets online.


By Brian Garrido

Recently transplanted from Los Angeles to Phoenix, Brian is a marketer and freelance writer with a cooking blog. Having traveled to more than 200 international and domestic cities, he's in the process of writing his memoir about his deep female friendships and women that he's has loved as a gay man. He can be followed on Facebook and Instagram.