Hanami is the Japanese custom of flower viewing. The transient splendor of trees in bloom inspires people to come together for festivals, picnics, and strolls beneath a canopy of petals.

The People

While in Japan several years ago, Sacramento author and public affairs consultant Joe Rodota experienced the concept of hanami. Having also delighted in cherry blossoms in the nation’s capital, Joe felt inspired to bring a cherry blossom park – or Hanami Line – to Sacramento. Joe was joined in his quest by economic consultant and former senior government official Lon Hatamiya, who embraced the idea to honor the rich history of the Japanese American community Sacramento.

Joe and Lon discussed their idea with Ray Tretheway, former executive director of the Sacramento Tree Foundation, who had heard many community member ideas in the past. This project, however, clearly stood out as exceptional and   Ray was excited to present the idea to the board.


In 2013, the Tree Foundation solicited design proposals to bring this vision to life. After considering nearly two dozen suggestions, only seven remained as serious contenders. The ultimate winning design was submitted by Jacobs, a global architect and design firm with a Sacramento presence.


Honorary Co-Chairs


Doris Matsui

Japanese Consul General

Tomochika Uyama


Capital Campaign Committee

Janine Bera, MD

Christi Black-Davis

Lon Hatamiya

Warren Kashiwagi

Joe Rodota

Tom Rotelli 

Miko Sawamura

Karen Skelton

Peter Tateishi 

Julie Winn


Communications Committee

Christi Black-Davis (Chair)

Della Gilleran

Alena James  

Allison Post-Harris

Stephanie Robinson


Events Committee

Kaitlin Bruce

Alena James  

Sarah Kennedy Modeste

Luis Sumpter

Caylyn Wright (Chair) 


Sacramento Tree Foundation Executive Support

Laura Garcia 

Jessica Sanders, PhD


Capital Campaign Consultant

Laurie MacIntosh