LA Bloom Festival

Mia Doi Todd will perform during the nine-day Little Tokyo celebration.

Carl Lindstrom

The themes of renewal and spring are at the heart of the new LA Bloom Festival, which will open at the Japanese American Cultural Community Center on Saturday, April 28.

And while cherry blossoms and the idea of buds bursting are very central to the nine-day celebration, perhaps the most visual addition will be the creation of a zen garden at JACCC Plaza.

We've seen zen gardens, of course, but this one is predicted to be one of the largest on the planet; some five million pebbles -- let's write that out, so we can be rightfully impressed by the number -- some 5,000,000 pebbles will fill its borders. (Organizers have affectionately quipped about the giant boulder at LACMA getting the love, so let's point out that the JACCC garden will contain 4,999,999 more rocks, albeit smaller rocks.)

And while the blossoms and rocks and hallmarks of the natural world will receive attention, so will the arts. Singer-songwriter Mia Doi Todd will perform during the festival, as will dance troupe Pacifico Dance Company. Family events, a Little Tokyo Happy Hour, and open mic night and several other renewal minded, entertainmenty to-dos are on the schedule.

And a centerpiece? Halpa as performed by Hirokazu Kosaka. Take a sneak peek below.

It is, as mentioned, the first year for LA Bloom. If you don't head for the JACCC to see the massive zen garden, head down at some point to lend some love for an initial outing. Cherry blossoms come back year after year, and so should a broad-scoped bash that ties together song, flowers, drink, food, and tiny, tiny rocks.

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