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What is Hanami

Hanami (花見, “flower viewing”) is the Japanese festival dedicated to cherry blossom (sakura) and plum blossom (ume) and is celebrated across Japan every year.

From the end of March to early May blossom trees spring into life across Japan and people come out to celebrate with picnics under the blossoming trees which are often strung with paper lanterns. Early evening celebrations are also enjoyed by young and old, Hanami at night is called yozakura (夜桜, “night sakura”).

For generations, families and friends in Japanese towns and cities have gathered together in the fresh spring air to enjoy an afternoon under the Cherry Blossom. The centuries old tradition of Hanami is said to date back as far as 794 AD. Although the custom was originally limited to the elite Imperial Court of Japan it soon soon spread to samurai society and by the Edo period the idea had reached the common people as well.

Hanami is a time to come together with friends and family and enjoy the beauty, tranquillity and colours of nature, a not to be missed event.

Hanami at Brogdale

Brogdale is one of the only places in the UK to celebrate Hanami and with the largest collection of fruit trees in the world, we really do have a sight to see!

The National Fruit Collection at Brogdale holds over 350 flowering cherry varieties with the added bonus of celebrating all the other blossoming fruit trees. The blossom includes Apples, Pears, Quince, Plums and more. With over 4000 fruit tree varieties it really is a sight not to be missed!

Brogdale also has an excellent temperate environment allowing us to celebrate much of Hanami on a very similar timescale to in Japan, creating a truly unique experience.

There are two ways to celebrate Hanami at Brogdale:

Visit for a relaxing HANAMI PICNIC (see Calendar for available dates) and enjoy the Japanese exhibition, tasters of Japanese snacks, have a go at calligraphy and origami, a guided tour of the orchards and a chanced to picnic under the blossom (picnic not included).

Visit on the HANAMI FESTIVAL (21 April 2018) and enjoy a full Japanese experience with Japanese cultural demonstrations, Japanese drumming & sword displays, Japanese Tea Ceremony, have a go at calligraphy and origami, picnics under the blossom, tours of the orchards, Japanese food, bonsai and much more!

Dogs are not allowed at Hanami Festival or Picnics as the celebrations take place in the orchards.

Hanami Picnic Experiences

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Hanami Picnic Experience (9 – 30 April) NEW DATES ADDED 4 – 7 May

Brogdale offers the unique opportunity to picnic under the cherry blossom as well and enjoy Japanese experiences.

Book your picnic and as a Hanami visitor you will be treated to a Japanese exhibition of traditional artefacts where you can learn about Japanese culture, traditions and the Hanami festival.

Set your taste buds off with samples of Japanese food & snacks, have a go at origami and calligraphy and try on a Japanese kimono.

Our expert guides will then lead you on a special guided tour of the blossoming orchards where you can see the stunning beautiful blossom, discover the history of Hanami and The National Fruit Collection for yourself.

Once the tour has finished you can sit down and enjoy your picnic (bring your own picnic) under the beautiful blossoming cherry trees or enjoy the colours and fragrance of the blossom.

 (Dose NOT include festival day – 21 April 2018)

Hanami Picnic Experiences must be booked 48hrs in advance

Dogs are not allowed on the Hanami Picnics as the celebrations take place in the orchards

Hanami Picnic Experiences can be affected by the weather

Picnic Ticket Prices (Dose not include picnic)

Adult – £11.50
Child – £2.50

2 time slots per day are available to book:

10:30 for 12:00 Picnic
13:00 for 14:30 Picnic

Please select a time when booking your picnic

Please Note: This dose NOT include the Hanami Festival Day (14 April 2018). See calendar for available Hanami Picnic dates.

Picnic not included

Group Visitors – Hanami Picnic Experience

If you want to visit for a group of 15 people or more then please get in touch. Group visitors can enjoy all the same activities and a guided walking tour of the blossoming orchards.

Group visitors booking a Hanami Picnic Experience have the bonus option of ordering a delicious Macknade Fine Foods picnic as your picnic. Choose from a yummy selection of Macknade Fine Foods options and your picnic will be delivered to Brogdale Collections & delivered to you for your group to enjoy under the cherry blossom.  Great value, tasty food and hassle free!

Contact us HERE

Group Visits Hanami Picnic Experience - Group Booking Form


Hanami Picnic Dates 2018

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Hanami Festival – Date Change

Full refunds are available for Hanami Festival Tickets (for the 14th April) up to Friday 20th April


As we are sure you are aware, the weather here in the south east has been unseasonably cold and wet. We have reviewed the orchards and I’m afraid to say this has delayed the blossom display and left the ground very soggy. We are concerned for safety issues and the quality of event we can deliver on this date.

The decision has not been made lightly, but we feel it would be the best course of action to postpone the festival for one week to Saturday 21st April 2018. All other timings remain the same.

We hope you will understand our position and be able to join us when the spectacular display will be in full bloom. All tickets and passes valid for Saturday 14th April will still be valid on Saturday 21st April. If you cannot attend this date and have purchased an advance ticket we will be more than happy to offer you a full refund. Please send your booking reference details to orders@brogdalecollections.org

Hanami Festival 2018

21 April 2018


Blossom & Picnics

Brogdale is unique in offering the chance to picnic under the cherry blossom. Bring along your own picnic to enjoy under the beautiful blossom. Complement your picnic with some snacks from the Japanese tuck shop or hot food stalls.

FREE guided walking tours of the blooming orchards will be running all day. Join one of the tours and learn from our expert knowledgeable guides as they talk you through the history of Hanami & the National Fruit Collection.

Hop on the tractor trailer or walk down to the Japanese exhibition & train station through the beautiful blossoming orchards.


Drumming & Sword Displays

Traditional Japanese sword techniques will be perfumed throughout the day alongside exciting drumming displays.

Iaijutsu (居合術) is a quick-draw sword technique using the Japanese sword (katana). Iaijutsu forms one of the Japanese koryū martial art disciplines in the education of the classical warrior (bushi).Tameshigiri is the Japanese art of target test cutting with the katana, made popular in the Edo period of japan for testing the quality of Japanese swords.

Taiko Japanese drums are an important element of Japanese culture with mythological origins in folklore and may have been introduced to Japan as early as the 6th century.

Kensei Taiko will be performing Iaijutsu and tameshigiri displays alongside Japanese armour and demonstrations of Taiko throughout the day.

Drumming & sword displays at 11:30 & 13:30
Drumming display grand final 15:00

21 April 2018

10am – 4pm

Adult £9
Concession £8
Child £5
Family £23

Dogs are not allowed to this festival as it take place in the orchards


Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony

The Japanese tea ceremony or Way of Tea (茶の湯 “chanoyu” or 茶道 “sadō” or “chadō”) is the choreographic ritual of preparing and serving Japanese green tea, called Matcha, together with traditional Japanese sweets to balance with the bitter taste of the tea. The Japanese tea ceremony history goes back more than 1000 years and is a key part of Japanese culture and society.

As well as watching the tea ceremony video in the exhibition visitors can see a live demonstration  with Akemi Solloway will be performing a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony where guests can be immersed in the art of the tea ceremony and learn about its history and place in Japanese Culture.

Tea ceremony demonstrations at 12:00 & 14:00


Discover Japan

Japanese artist and calligrapher Koshu who will be on hand to help people learn about and have a go at traditional Japanese calligraphy. She will be displaying some of her beautiful Japanese artwork and demonstrating calligraphy throughout the day.

The Medway Japan Society Will be on hand to talk about Japanese culture and answer questions as well as selling a few Japanese treats to take home.


Japanese Bonsai

Kent Bonsai club will be bringing along some of their best examples of the traditional art of Bonsai. See an intriguing display of Bonsai trees and talk to the experts about crafting your own miniature tree using the thousand year old horticultural techniques of Bonsai.

Kent Bonsai Club will be on hand to answer your questions and give demonstrations on Bonsai care.

 Bonsia talk at 13:15



Food & Drink

Add some Japanese treats to your picnic at the Japanese tuck shop, pick up bottles of green tea, wasabi peas, rice crackers, sweets, seaweed snacks, treats and more.

Pick up some delicious fresh sushi and chicken teriyaki noodles from the Mr Miyagi sushi stop (don’t forget to catch the how to demonstrations as well). Supplement you picnic with some yummy coffee & hot drinks, pastries & pizzas, ice creams or delicious crepes made with cherry blossom and cherry blossom lemonade.


Have a Go

Have a go at Origami, the traditional Japanese art of paper folding. See what you can make by following the instructions. Fun for kids and adults!

Challenge yourself with Kumon. Kumon is Japanese education program widespread in Japan, take the math’s challenge “are you smarter than a Kumon kid?” compete with friends &family to be the quickest. Learn Japanese character numbers with the matching game.


The Art of Sushi

Chefs from Mr Miyagi sushi shop will demonstrating how make your own yummy sushi (nigiri, rolls and sashimi) at home.

Mister Miyagi’s in Canterbury is a small shop with a bar selling sushi for take away (sushi ya) serves fresh, handmade, authentic sushi inspired by Japanese classics and Californian interpretations of sushi.

Demonstration times 12:30 &14:30

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Japanese Culture

Explore the Japanese exhibition packed full of Japanese artefacts. Learn about Japanese culture, history, art, fashion and more. Try on a kimono and watch the beautiful tea ceremony video.

Hop on the tractor trailer or walk up to the main festival area through the beautiful blossoming orchards.


Kite flying

Watch the kites swoop and soar in the sky above the blossom. Kent Kite Flyers will be bringing along fantastical oriental themed kites to amaze you.

*weather permitting

Blossom Updates

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