Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Celebrate Hanami at Garden By The Bay's Sakura Matsuri 2020 - Residents get 50% discount on ticket prices

It is still possible to enjoy hanami (flower viewing), even though your travel plans has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You just need to head down to the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay for the Sakura Matsuri - Tale of the Peach Boy.

From now till 29 March, over 300 sakura (cherry blossom) and about 200 momo (peach blossom) trees transform part of the Flower Dome into a Japanese springtime landscape. With over 20 varieties of these blossoms are also set against the backdrop of red torii gates as well as a quaint teahouse.

By the way, tickets to the Flower Dome for Sakura Matsuri, Cloud Forest, Supertree Observatory and Floral Fantasy for Singapore residents are now at 50% discount! Children aged 3 to 12 years are also able to enter these locations for free during the March school holidays. So, this is a family outing and photo opportunity not to be missed!


This special initiative by Gardens by the Bay aims to stand by local businesses and bring a measure of joy to Singapore residents who have had to cancel their trips to Japan because of COVID-19. From now till 15 March, Gardens by the Bay is offering 500 Singapore residents a chance to visit the Sakura Matsuri for free.

All you need to do is to share what your disrupted travel plans mean to you through the Garden's website. Not only do you get a chance to enter the floral display for free, this offer includes Pan Pacific Singapore's Fun-mily Escape package that has a weekend staycation for 2 adults and 2 children, plus a brunch at Keyaki Japanese restaurant! The entire deal is worth about SGD 798++.

That's not all. Visitors can also receive 30% off their bills at Pan Pacific hotel's Edge, Hai Tien Lo and Keyaki restaurants if they present the Flower Dome's ticket. This offer is redeemable until 30 June 2020.

Here are some are things to do when you are strolling along the Sakura Matsuri garden trail.


During spring, when the sakura and momo start to blossom, the Japanese celebrate the season by gathering under the trees for hanami. Hanami is a beloved Japanese tradition that signifies hope and renewal.

Just by strolling around these beautiful blooms, Red Dot Diva could sense the peace and positivity that these flowers bring to her inner being. These flowers are so lovely, and yet their blooms will be transient - like life itself.

You really have to be at the Sakura Matsuri to truly admire their ephemeral beauty.


The theme of this year's Sakura Matsuri is the Tale of Momotaro, a popular Japanese folklore hero. Born of a giant peach, and raised by an elderly couple, Momotaro or Peach Boy sets out to slay the oni (demons/ orgres) who have caused much istress and hardship to the people. The old lady made him some millet dumplings for nourishment along his journey.

Along the way, he met a pheasant, a dog and monkey, who agreed to help Momotaro with his mission if he shared the millet dumplings with them. Together, the motley crew managed to defeat the oni, bringing back peace to the people.


Gassho farmhouses are historical buildings found in the villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama. The traditional houses have tall and steep thatched roofs that help the heavy snowfall to slide down and prevent the structure from being crushed. Only about 150 of these unique buildings are left in Japan.

At the Sakura Matsuri, these Gassho farmhouse miniatures nestled within the sakura trees and other spring flowers give visitors a peek on how the buildings actually look like.


As part of the hanami celebration, there are a series of Japanese cultural performances to watch and enjoy. These are held on a variety of dates and timings, so you will have to refer to the listing at Gardens by the Bay's website.

At the launch of Sakura Matsuri, Red Dot Diva was able to catch the enigmatic dance by a troupe called Hibikiya, featuring performers in different coloured oni masks.

The troupe is also performed a rousing taiko drum performance.

The schedule of cultural performances also include kendo demonstrations and Japanese tea ceremony by Hoseikai from the Japanese Association, Singapore.


One of the more unique things you can try at Sakura Matsuri is the Hanami Autorider Experience. The Autorider is an autonomous-driving vehicle, and it takes visitors from the Flower Dome to Bayfront Plaza, and back.

A static model is in Flower Dome, and for a fee of SGD 20, visitors can don a yukata, sit in the Autorider and enjoy some sakura-flavoured snacks and indulge in sakura sake tasting.


For anime fans, the Meadow is the place to dance along with anisong artistes, and meet cosplayers like Kaname from Japan. One of the performers is local anisong group Tokimeki JUMP (watch a snippet of their performance during the launch in the Instagram post above.)

The anime experience is held over the last weekend of the month, on 28 & 29 March. Check out Garden by the Bay's website for the detailed programme schedule.


Where: Flower Dome, Gardens By The Bay
When: now till 29 March 2020
Time: 9 AM to 9 PM
Tickets: 50% of usual price for Singapore Residents. Children aged 12 and below get free entry during the March holidays.
Others: Complimentary parking for 4 hours. Discounts and offers are retail and F&B outlets

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