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Bold Tastes & Unique Treats Set for 40th Annual Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival

Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival defines Japanese culture, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., April 24 - 26, in Seattle Center Armory, Fisher Pavilion and Seattle Center Pavilion. This feast for the senses features Japanese food, Taiko drumming and artisan demonstrations that present both a modern and ancient view of this complex culture.

Begun as a celebration to mark the gift of 1,000 cherry trees from Prime Minister Takeo Miki, this year sees the festival celebrating its 40th anniversary and its 36th year at Seattle Center. The Honorable Yoshinobu Nisaka, Governor of Wakayama Prefecture, will attend to commemorate the occasion.

Adventurous palates will enjoy the focus on the "fifth taste" of umami, with unique culinary delights created just for the festival. Visitors can sample umeboshi (pickled plums) on pizzetta, takoyaki (octopus dumplings), gy?don (rice bowl with beef, onion and cheese), kar? raisu (Japanese curry) and deluxe Japanese sweets.

Festival-goers can also view shodo (Japanese calligraphy) demonstrations, complete a variety of fun hands-on activities for all ages, or enjoy a lecture on Friday by local author Lydia Minatoya. One-of-a-kind goods and treats will be available in the festival gift shop, alongside books by local writers on emergency preparedness, self-identity and discovery.

In 2015, Seattle Center Festál explores the "art of culture" in 23 celebrations on weekends throughout the year. The events, organized by ethnic/cultural organizations in partnership with Seattle Center, make use of indoor and outdoor spaces on the grounds and offer wide-ranging entertainment, food, visual displays and exhibits and hands-on learning opportunities. The annual series forms the bedrock of public programming at Seattle Center, captivating and enlightening festival-goers as they experience the distinct cultures that influence the character and course of our broader community.

Seattle Center Festál is a program of Seattle Center Productions. Admission is free-of-charge. For more information on Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival and other Seattle Center public programming, click on www.seattlecenter.com or call 206 684-7200.

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