On April 2, the Cherry Blossom Festival was held at the Japanese Garden of Hasselt, which Minister Yoichiro Yamada of the Embassy of Japan attended. Blessed by the good weather, the event was bustling with people, attracting more than 4,000 visitors. Food stalls were lined up, selling taiyaki (Japanese fish-shaped cake), okonomiyaki (Japanese savoury pancake), Japanese tea and the like. A Japanese taiko drum performance was held by taiko group Tátake!-Taiko; the visitors thus experienced Japanese culture while enjoying the cherry blossom viewing. The famous Belgian Paralympic athlete Ms. Marieke Vervoort also made an appearance and was soon surrounded by the cherry blossom viewers, with whom she talked and exchanged good wishes. Deputy Mayor Ms. Karolien Mondelaers took part in the ceremonial opening of a sake barrel (kagami-wari), which was followed by the distribution of sake to the cherry-blossom viewers.