Gardens by the Bay’s Sakura floral display presents its first day-to-night experience for visitors

Gardens by the Bay’s Sakura
Kyoto’s iconic Kinkakuji Temple takes centrestage at this year’s Sakura floral display at Gardens by the Bay. Photo Courtesy: Gardens by the Bay.

The ninth edition of Gardens by the Bay’s iconic Sakura floral display marks the first time that visitors can enjoy a day-to-night experience since the debut show in 2016.

Inspired by the Japanese city of Kyoto, the iconic Kinkakuji Temple takes centre stage, which visitors can step into and imagine they are within the actual temple – a UNESCO World Heritage site.

“At night, the floral display is transformed into a landscape inspired by “yozakura” (night sakura) in Japan. At the Gardens, the trees are specially lit and there are light projections that only appear when the sky darkens,” read a statement issued by the Gardens by the Bay.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for National Development and Finance Indranee Rajah opened the Sakura floral display recently with the traditional breaking of a sake barrel.

Joining her were Ambassador of Japan to Singapore Hiroshi Ishikawa, Gardens by the Bay Chairman Niam Chiang Meng and Gardens by the Bay CEO Felix Loh.

Felix Loh said, “The affection that Singaporeans have for Japanese culture has made our Sakura floral display, now in its ninth year, a beloved event. This year’s edition is especially exciting as we introduce ‘yozakura’, or night sakura, for the first time, offering visitors the chance to also experience cherry blossoms in a different way after dark. Together with the Japanese cultural fringe programmes and the much-anticipated return of Anime Garden, this year’s Sakura season at Gardens by the Bay promises to be an exciting and unforgettable one.”

More than 140 cherry blossom trees amidst quintessential Japanese elements

This year’s floral display features more than 140 cherry blossom trees of over 40 varieties, including crowd favourites such as Prunus Accolade, known for its abundant clusters of pink blooms, Prunus Kiku Shidare with its distinctive weeping form, and Prunus Pendula Rubra which has an umbrella form and bears deep pink to red flowers.

Visitors can also expect to see a new European plum blossom species, Prunus domestica, which stands out with its white to pale pink flowers.

The essence of Kyoto is also conveyed through a traditional thatched house like those from Miyama Village, which is known for its peaceful, old-world charm.

Elements of Japanese gardens feature in the floral display, such as an engawa, a contemplative veranda found in traditional homes, and the soothing sounds of a sozu, a bamboo water fountain commonly seen in Japanese gardens.

There is the chozuya, a large basin with wooden dippers used to purify oneself before entering sacred shrines and temples as well as ema, small wooden plaques hung at shrines or temples for people to write their prayers or wishes on.

Nestled in the landscape are Ikebana arrangements by local societies, Ikenobo Ikebana Singapore, Singapore Sogetsu Association, and Ikebana International Singapore Chapter 135.

At dusk, the Flower Dome transitions into “yozakura”, with soft lights casting a glow on the blossom trees, creating scenes inspired by the night landscapes in many Japanese cities during sakura season.

Visitors to the Sakura floral display stand a chance to win a pair of economy class tickets to anywhere in Japan, sponsored by official airline partner All Nippon Airways. Refer to the Annex for details on how to participate.

Japanese cultural activities and the return of Anime Garden

Complementing the Sakura floral display are Japanese cultural programmes on selected weekends.

Organised in partnership with the Embassy of Japan in Singapore’s Japan Creative Centre, the public can see traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, music and dance performances, demonstrations of the mochi-pounding tradition, a screening of Japanese animated film Josee, the Tiger and the Fish, and more.

Making a return to the Supertree Grove after a four-year hiatus is Anime Garden.

“On March 30 and March 31, anime enthusiasts are in for a treat, with a packed weekend schedule that includes appearances by regional cosplay artists such as Baobao, Thames Malerose, Mikki, and Xiaoyukiko, who will also be judges for the popular Cosplay Singles Competition,” read the statement.

Anime Garden will also feature an exciting concert line-up of Japanese artists, including singer Hiroshi Kitadani.

The marketplace will feature a cosplay hub with booths offering merchandise from cosplayers and unique works by artists and creators from various parts of the region.

Additionally, for those who love Japanese cuisine, a broad selection of food and drinks will be available throughout the event.

The Sakura floral display 2024 is supported by official airline partner All Nippon Airways and Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Singapore Foundation.