Photo by David Yu - Japantown

You don’t have to travel halfway around the world to experience the Japanese tradition of celebrating the blooming of the cherry blossoms in springtime. In April, the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival is happening for the 49th year in the heart of San Francisco’s Japantown.

The festival concludes April 16-17, bringing together food booths, live bands, martial arts demonstrations, a pageant, cultural performances and more than a few young people dressed as their favorite anime character. The April 17 Grand Parade starts in City Hall and ends in Japan Center.

The Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival attracts about 200,000 people, which makes it the best time of year to visit Japantown, one of only three designated Japanese neighborhoods in the U.S. and which also happens to be the oldest and largest.

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Photo by David Yu

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We started Purple Roofs in 1999, and we're still the best place to find small, "family owned" and gay friendly accommodations, with more than 4,800 bed and breakfasts, hotels, vacation rentals and other properties around the world, many of them with full page listings and photographs. Many of our listings ar small mom and mom or pop and pop businesses - places you'll have a hard time finding anywhere else. We also list hundreds of gay owned and friendly travel agents and tour operators around the world. Our Purple Roofs Gay Travel Blog lists thousands of gay travel articles, and once a month, we send the latest articles and gay travel events to our mailing list of more than 25,000 people. We also send out our monthly newswire with specials from gay innkeepers worldwide. Join our maillist here. We also list hundreds of gay travel events - from gay prides to ski weeks to film festivals. At Purple Roofs, we are gay travel.