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The annual Cherry Blossom festival (http://www.san-francisco-tourism-tips.com/san-francisco-cherry-blossom-festival.html) is a tradition for the SF Bay Area Japanese and Japanese-American community. (30s Youtube promo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOph3W5oHB8&feature=youtu.be)) This year it is held over two weekends. The final event of the second weekend is the parade on Sunday, including carrying of the mikoshi shrine, shown in the picture, Japanese cultural activities, food booths, live music, and more.
We will meet at The Grove, a cafe a few blocks north of the site, on Fillmore St and then make our way out to a place to view the parade. Afterwards we may go to the food court area and sample some of the classic Japanese food such as udon, yakisoba, and maybe try to get in the huge line for the takoyaki. Shopping for gifts and anime / manga goods is easy at nearby Kinokuniya bookstore and other shops in the Japantown shopping center.
What to bring:
* photo id (if you want to buy beer)
* mat or small portable chair to sit would be helpful but not essential
* sunglasses, sunscreen, hat, etc. dress for the weather.
* You can reach the cafe from several bus routes from the downtown BART stations or other points. Check google maps.
* Allow extra time because of the crowds (and because your bus route may be detouring around the parade route!)
* The parade starts at City Hall at 1pm and heads north then west on Post Street to arrive at Japan Center at 3pm. The route map is on the link above.