What is Sakura Festival?
Sakura Festival is an annual event founded in 2017, taking place in Leeds, the UK.
The mission of Sakura Festival is;
"Spread Japanese culture in the UK through authentic experience"
Not only that we want to spread a better understanding of Japanese culture in the UK, we want people to experience Japan.
Our events are entirely run by Japanese students studying in the UK. It is a platform which allows Japanese students to challenge themselves organising an event abroad, from planning, budgeting, marketing to carrying out the event.
Every year, committee roles are passed on, and volunteer staff are also from various parts of Japan.
Each year, we aim to show different aspects of Japan, to make sure the event is more enjoyable than previous year.
Japanese Sakura Festival in Leeds started by 7 Japanese students who came to Leeds through the Tobitate! (Leap for Tomorrow) Study Abroad Initiative Program led by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.
At the beginning of our year abroad in September 2017, we were surprised about the strong interest British people have towards Japanese culture. However, “Japanese culture” described by the British people mainly consisted of anime and sushi, which does not entirely represent our culture.
Therefore, we have decided to hold "Japanese Sakura Festival" to introduce our authentic Japanese culture! Our 1st and 2nd events were great success, with 2775 visitors for the first event at Leeds City Museum.
Although this was originally meant to be a one-time event, due to popular demand, we have decided to make this into an annual event.
Supporting our home
We go beyond just holding an event.
Our profit mainly goes towards recovery of natural disasters in Japan.
At our first festival, we made roughly £800 of net income and all of them was donated for the reconstruction of Kumamoto Prefecture from the damage received by the earthquake in 2016.
Moreover, we have earned £1700 of gross income form the second. All of the net income is planed to be sent for the reconstruction of Hokkaido Prefecture which was also damaged by the earthquake in 2017.