Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival Hamburg

Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival Hamburg

May 19, 2023
Various locations

The Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival (Japanisches Kirschblütenfest) takes place each May in Hamburg. Since 1968, the Japanese community of Hamburg has thanked the Hanseatic city of Hamburg for their hospitality with the annual cherry blossom festival.

A renowned German-Japanese cultural festival

The German-Japanese Society and the Consulate General of Japan organise this festival together each year. In the Japanese garden tea house, visitors can expect a colourful, diverse programme of culture, sports, music, art, and gastronomy, all with a Japanese theme. 

The Japanese population of Hamburg currently numbers around 2.000, as more than 100 international companies have settled in the Hanseatic city in the past few decades. Hamburg and Osaka have a 30-year city partnership. In the 1960s, the Japanese community of Hamburg donated around 5.000 cherry trees to the German city, which were planted along the banks of the Alster, the Kennedy Bridge, Alsterkrugchaussee and on the Altona Balkon.

Fireworks and films in Hamburg

The highlight of the festival is the fireworks every year, which traditionally takes place on a Friday at 10.30pm at the Außenalster and is hosted by Hamburg-based Japanese companies. The fireworks can be seen all around the Alster, so the crowds are immense, including locals, tourists, students, families and kids.

The Japanese Film Festival Hamburg is another big draw in the spring season, which coincides nicely with the Cherry Blossom Festival. At three different movie theatres in Hamburg, you can see the latest and greatest in Japanese film.

Boat tours on the river Alster

If you want to experience the fireworks from the water, you can rent a canoe or pedal boat and watch the spectacle from the middle of the River Alster. Alster tourism offers a culinary tour of the Alster especially for the Cherry Blossom Festival.

The meaning of the cherry Blossom

The cherry blossom is an important symbol for the Japanese because it embodies the beginning of spring and stands for departure, impermanence and the fragile feminine beauty. The Japanese cherry blossom festival has been celebrated in Hamburg since 1968.

Plan your visit to the Cherry Blossom Festival

To bask in the beauty of cherry blossoms, head to the banks of the Alster and wander along the Kennedy Bridge, Alsterkrugchaussee and on the Altona balcony. For the firework timetable, keep an eye on the Cherry Blossom Festival event page for the most up-to-date information.

On the firework night, cycling or taking public transport are recommended instead of driving​​​​, because the crowds tend to be very large.