Yokosuka cherry blossoms arrive in time for festival
Stars and Stripes April 3, 2008
Nature has cooperated for a celebration of Yokosuka Naval Base’s cherry blossoms during a springtime fete set for Sunday.
The U.S. Japan Spring Festival will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring music, food, games and tours of both U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships.
Last year, 32,000 Japanese visitors came to the festival, base spokeswoman Michelle Stewart said.
She characterized the event as a “wonderful way to spend the day” and said it was an opportunity for Japanese to “make friends, learn of the base’s significant history and enjoy the base.”
And for Americans?
“It allows us to return some hospitality,” Stewart said.
This year’s event includes games, air toys, a martial arts demonstration and performances by the 7th Fleet Band, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Band, the Yokosuka City Taiko Drummers and the Yokosuka Country Music and Dance Association.
Ship tours will take guests aboard the JS Ikazuchi — the sister ship of the guided missile destroyer USS Mustin — and the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk.
Visitors will enter through Womble Gate.