Senpai’s Sakura-Con review!

I don’t live anywhere near Sakura-Con so this con was definitely out of town for me. But when I went back then, I was visiting some relatives on the West Coast and timed my vacation to fall on the same weekend as Sakura-Con.

I always heard about the convention from my friends and online, so I definitely wanted to attend and I made that happen. So not only did I get to visit Seattle as an adult for the first time, I also got to attend this big annual convention in the West Coast. As someone who is not local, you are getting a different perspective.

So how does Sakura-Con stack up? Is the convention live up to the hype? Whether you live close or far away, should you attend? That’s what I’ll be answering today!

In this article, I’ll give you my Sakura-Con review. You’ll learn about the pros and cons about this convention and what to expect from this annual event. Overall, Sakura-Con is a solid Anime convention that is well run and organized. I would highly recommend attending if you’re in the Pacific Northwest.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

What is Sakura-Con?

Sakura-Con hallway photo (review)
A hallway photo I took during Sakura-Con with their banner proudly displayed!

If you didn’t know, Sakura-Con is an iconic Anime convention that takes place annually in Seattle, Washington every spring. Not only is Sakura-Con the biggest Anime con in the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S., the event has been around for over 20 years!

Sakura-Con takes place at the Seattle Convention Center, right in the heart of downtown Seattle. This makes it easy and convenient to reach the convention, whether by car or by public transit. I took the bus into Seattle and had no issues getting to Sakura-Con; the public transit in the city is really good.

Normally the convention happens in the early spring, either late March to early to mid April. When I went it was in April, so the weather was great; not too hot or cold.

Alright, now that we talked about what Sakura-Con is about, let’s discuss the pros about the convention:


The convention is very well-organized.

One of the first things I noticed when attending Sakura-Con is how everything is well organized. I’ve been to a lot of different conventions and Sakura-Con definitely feels professionally run. From picking up my badge to the guidebooks, I never had any problems navigating the convention. You can tell that the organizers have been doing this for a while!

It’s been a minute since I went to Sakura-Con. But one thing I remember in particular is how there was yellow tape near the top and bottom of every escalator. Basically, it was to let the attendees know not to stand around the escalators so traffic can keep moving. This was the first time I saw such a thing and I absolutely loved it! As someone who gets annoyed when people stop in a crowded walkway, this idea is great, keeps people safe and keeps everyone moving smoothly. It’s a small feature but something I totally appreciate.

Great location

A photo of the Seattle skyline that I took when I was visiting the city for Sakura-Con!

Did I mention that Sakura-Con takes place right in the middle of downtown Seattle? How awesome is that! Not only do you get to enjoy the city of Seattle during your convention weekend; everything is also within walking distance, which makes things so convenient. So you get to enjoy the amenities of being in a big city like Seattle while also enjoying the convention. As mentioned earlier, Sakura-Con is really easy to reach, whether you’re taking public transit or driving.

You have numerous restaurants around the convention center. Even the famous Pike Place Market is only a 10 minute walk to the water. And best of all, a variety of hotel accommodations you can stay in, which I’ll get to in the next point…

Excellent and affordable hotels

This is something I really appreciated about attending Sakura-Con. Unlike a lot of big Anime conventions where the main hotels sell out within minutes of reservations opening (such as Anime North and Anime Central), Sakura-Con has an enormous list of hotels for you to choose from within their group rate. And what’s noteworthy is that I booked a hotel relatively last minute, I only decided to attend Sakura-Con maybe 1-2 months in advance. Even then, I still had like 5-10 different hotels to choose from (although the cheapest hotels were already sold out by then).

When I booked my hotel, the rate was around $179 USD/night, which to me is a really great price considering the location of downtown Seattle and being only a few minutes walk from the convention center. $179 USD/night was a steal; most convention hotels go for well over $200-300 USD/night. It is pretty amazing that the organizers of Sakura-Con were able to negotiate such great rates for their attendees with so many different hotels.

Alright, lots of good things about Sakura-Con! Any negatives? Let’s see…


Nothing really stands out

I want to emphasize that this isn’t really too much of a bad thing. But I guess as a traveling congoer visiting Sakura-Con, I didn’t notice anything that stood out. Yes, there were tons of great panels, activities and programming but nothing out of the ordinary for me.

I guess when you’ve been to as many conventions as I have, you start to see the same stuff at different events over and over again. Some conventions have events that make them really stand out (e.g. the Idol Show at Holiday Matsuri link). But to me, nothing really stood out when I went to Sakura-Con. Again, not necessarily a bad thing.


Overall, Sakura-Con is a really solid convention. When I attended, the event was professionally run and has everything you expect at a big Anime convention.

If you’re a local or someone that lives only a few hours away from Seattle, I would say that Sakura-Con is one of those conventions you should attend every year! Hotels are very affordable and Seattle is a fun city to be in for a weekend.

But if you live far away, then you don’t need to attend Sakura-Con as you probably can get the same experience closer to you at your big local convention.

The only exception is if you want to visit Seattle at the same time, then I say it’s worth the trip. PS Be sure to also visit Vancouver in Canada; the city is only a few hours away from Seattle and so beautiful!

Overall grade: 8.5/10

I hope you found this Sakura-Con review helpful! If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below.

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