Washington, DC, is known as the capital of the United States of America, but it's also famous for its beautiful architecture and landscape, including thousands of Japanese cherry blossom trees, which bloom each spring. The trees dazzle visitors and DC residents with their beautiful pink flowers, truly a remarkable sight to behold. Amazingly, these trees are 101 years old, a gift in 1912, from the mayor of Tokyo, Japan.
DC Cherry Blossoms History -
Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore was an American traveler and scholar, born in the 1850s. On her first visit to Japan in 1905, she was impressed by the beautiful and hardy cherry blossom trees of that country. Beginning with her advocacy, the idea of bringing some of these trees to Washington, DC eventually became a reality when the mayor of Tokyo gifted 3,000 cherry blossom trees to the city of Washington, DC, in 1912. First Lady Helen Taft and the wife of the Japanese ambassador to the U.S., Viscountess Chinda, planted the first two trees on the northern banks of the Potomac Tidal Basin in a special ceremony.
National Cherry Blossom Festival -
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is an annual event that celebrates the generosity and friendship that has remained vibrant and important between Washington, DC and Tokyo, and by extension, the United States and Japan. It's also a wonderful excuse to celebrate the first signs of spring! Events over the course of the National Cherry Blossom Festival include fireworks, kids' activities, live music, dance performances, the Japanese Street Festival, the Blossom Kite Festival, and a gorgeous parade with marching bands, floats, and helium balloons.
DC Cherry Blossom 2013 -
This year, the festival will begin March 20, and run until April 14. In addition to celebrating more than a century of international friendship and nature's beauty, the festival will commemorate the beginning of another 100 years of that special alliance and the stewardship of DC's blooming treasures.
DC Metro Transportation -
Events of the National Cherry Blossom Festival are easily accessible by the Washington, DC Metro system, including the Metrobus and Metrorail. There is a Metrobus stop near the entrance of the hotel, for your convenience, which will transport you to the Metrorail-Branch Avenue Green line. If you decide to skip the bus, and park & ride from the station, it's short 5 minute ride there. Festival organizers recommend taking the Metro to L'Enfant Plaza station on the green, blue, and yellow lines. Another key station for getting to the Cherry Blossom Festival is Smithsonian station on the orange and blue lines. Traveling during non-rush hours if possible will make for a pleasant ride.