Cherry blossom craze: Alfarnate blossoms into mini Japan for Sakura Festival

One Axarquía town celebrates its unlikely link with Japan with an annual Sakura Festival. Photo credit: Ángel Fernández Moreno/ Ayuntamiento de Alfarnate (via Facebook)

PREPARE for a taste of Japan right in the heart of Spain, as the mountain village of Alfarnate hosts its second annual Sakura Festival from Saturday, April 15 until Sunday, April 16.

Situated nearly 1000 meters above sea level, this village is renowned for producing the juiciest, tastiest cherries in the Axarquía region, with locals suggesting that its high altitude and cooler temperatures are the secret ingredients for these delicious fruits. The Sakura Festival was created to celebrate the village’s unlikely link with Japan’s unofficial national flower, cherry blossom.

For one weekend, the village will be transformed into a mini Japan, complete with workshops on kimonos, dancing, martial arts, processions and much more. The Sakura flower arch, the centerpiece of the festival, will be unveiled at 4pm on Saturday 15 April, officially marking the start of the event.

The main event will kick off on Sunday at 10am, where visitors can indulge in the market and food trucks, and watch Japanese dancing and street processions throughout the day.

Local groups have been working tirelessly to decorate the village with paper blossoms, which will be on display all over the streets.

The unique event will bring Japan’s vibrant culture to the heart of Axarquía.

More information is available online at: and on the council’s Facebook page.