As a city that has thrived on international trade, the ties between Hamburg and economic powerhouse Japan are strong. As a result, Osaka, Japan’s third-largest metropolis, is one of Hamburg’s 9 sister cities. Today, Hamburg is home to approx. 2,000 Japanese people as well as more than 100 companies from the “land of the rising sun”. Twenty-five of them even have their European headquarters in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.
In order to celebrate this long-standing relationship, the Japanese community in the city has been hosting the annual “Kirschblütenfest” (lit.: Cherry Blossom Festival) since 1968. Every year in May, a colourful mix of fireworks, music, sports, film, art and culinary delights strengthens the ties between the two countries even further. And these ties have literally been very fruitful: Along with the first celebrations in the 1960s came a total of 5,000 cherry trees, donated to the city of Hamburg by the Japanese community. They were planted all along the Alster lakes and in the Altonaer Balkon park and have ever since contributed to the beauty of this city.
2024 dates TBA