Posts Tagged ‘cherry blossoms’

Cherry Blossoms on Parade

March 21, 2012
Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC

Cherry Blossoms

2012 marks the 100 anniversary of Washington’s most famous symbol of spring – the cherry trees that line the tidal basin and several other spots around the city. In 1912, the first cherry trees arrived as a gift from the Mayor of Tokyo, Japan.

To celebrate the centennial, Washington is celebrating with a 5 week festival. Highlights of this year’s Cherry Blossom festival include:

The National Park Service offers Cherry Blossom related events including lantern tours and ranger-led bike tours. Bike n Roll and Capital Bikeshare offer great options for bikes if you’re not traveling with your own bike – just be prepared for the crowds on the Mall.

Beyond the Mall, you can explore more about the Japanese culture and the cherry trees as a symbol of friendship:

  • Samurai Cinema at National Geographic as they screen three classics of Japanese cinema as part of the Samurai: The Warrior Transformed Exhibit.
  • The Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center offers free daily performances at 6 pm (free shuttle buses from Foggy Bottom metro) including kyogen – a traditional Japanese comic theater.
  • The Library of Congress offers curator tours, lectures and a Japanese culture day related to the “Sakura: Cherry Blossoms as Living Symbols of Friendship” exhibit in the Jefferson Building.

Plan your trip today (check out the No Worries Weekend Getaway and the Family Fun Package), and be sure to stop by 14K Restaurant & Lounge and enjoy a relaxing drink on the patio while you’re here.

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Washington in Bloom!

March 21, 2011

Cherry Blossoms along the Tidal Basin in Washington DCSpring has officially arrived which means the Cherry Blossoms won’t be far behind. An annual tradition in Washington, the Cherry Blossom Festival will have a different feel this year in light of recent events in Japan. The cherry trees were a gift from Japan in 1912. The first lady and the wife of the Japanese ambassador planted the first two cherry trees along the Tidal Basin.

Luckily the weather has cooperated this year, and the National Park Service is predicting that peak blooms should fall during the National Cherry Blossom Festival, March 26 through April 10. There are free daily performances at the Sylvan Theater

The traditional Sakura Matsuri festival on April 9 at 12th & Pennsylvania Avenue will charge a $5 admission fee for the first time, with a portion of the fee donated to earthquake relief efforts.

On Thursday, March 24, there will be a walk around the Tidal Basin to remember those affected by the earthquake. The walk will start at 6:30 pm south of the Washington Monument near the Sylvan Theater.

The Cherry Blossom 10 Mile / 5 K is scheduled for Sunday, April 3. The race is sold out well in advance, so if you haven’t already signed up, you should make plans to cheer on the runners. If you are running, consider staying downtown with us to avoid Metro delays on race day.

Post-race or anytime during the festival stop by the patio at 14K Restaurant for cherry-themed drink specials and dishes.

The National Park Service offers a variety of special Cherry Blossom related daily activities around the Tidal Basin including Ranger-led talks. 3.5 mile runs, bicycle tours, lantern walks, and a junior ranger activity tent for children 6-12.

The festival closes with the Cherry Blossom Parade on April 9 down Constitution Avenue.

Cherry Blossoms in Bloom

March 5, 2010

Earlier this week, the National Park Service made their forecast and are now predicting that the Cherry Blossoms will reach their peak bloom April 3 – 8, 2010.

This is great news as the Cherry Blossom Festival is scheduled for March 27th – April 11, 2010.

Here are a few of our  favorite activities you can enjoy during Cherry Blossoms:

  • Free 3-hour ranger-led bike tours on the National Mall every Sunday from 1 – 4 p.m. departing from the Jefferson Memorial. Participants must provide their own bike, helmet and water.
  • Ranger led discussions about the historical and natural significance of the cherry trees, on the hour at the Jefferson and Roosevelt memorials.
  • Evening ranger-guided lantern walks – experience the cherry trees by soft light of a lantern during these two hour strolls.
  • Daily performances at the Target performance stage at Sylvan Theatre including Japanese cultural groups and local acoustic musicians.
  • Watch the Cherry Blossom Parade on Saturday, April 10th starting at 10 am as it heads down Constitution Avenue.
  • Join 20 of Washington’s hottest chefs at the Pink Tie Party and enjoy cherry inspired dishes and cocktails – all for a good cause.
  • Enjoy a Japanese street festival on Saturday April 10th. (Go early – this gets crowded.)
  • If the crowds at the Tidal Basin overwhelm you, retreat to the Freer & Sackler Galleries at the Smithsonian to enjoy their collection of Asian art. They currently have an exhibit of Japanese ceramics on display.
  • Stop by one of the local tea shops Teaism for a bento box and a refreshing cup of tea.
  • Enjoy a cherry-inspired cocktail in the lounge at 14K.

The Cherry Blossom Festival is a popular time to visit Washington, so we recommend making your reservations now.

Make the Most of Your Visit to DC for Cherry Blossoms

March 26, 2009

If you’re joining us to see the Cherry Blossoms in Washington, DC, you’re in for a treat. It’s a beautiful time of year to visit. If you’re not prepared, however, it can be frustrating as it is an extremely popular time – when you see the cherry trees and everything going on around town, you’ll understand why. It’s worth it, but here are some hints to help you plan your trip and make the most of your visit.

  • Visit the Tidal Basin during the week if your schedule allows to avoid the weekend crowds.
  • Remember that L’Enfant Metro is just as close as Smithsonian and much less crowded during peak viewing times.
  • Bring your camera – you’ll have plenty of photo-worthy opportunities between the blossoms and the regular sites on your walk.  Just remember not to climb the trees or put kids on the branches for photo opportunities – the trees are delicate and the Park Police are vigilant. And please take only photos – not blossoms.
  • If you walk all the way around you’ll have the chance to visit many of the major monument sites in Washington looking their best – be sure to visit the Jefferson, the Lincoln, the World War I and II Memorials, the Korean War Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The Roosevelt Memorial also offers an interesting vantage point across the water and is often less crowded.

Take part in some of the many other activities happening around town including:

  • For a more formal evening out, join the State Societies for a reception and dinner at the Grand Hyatt including the presentation of the Cherry Blossom Princesses and the selection of the Cherry Blossom Queen.

We’d love to hear about what you did during your visit or any hidden treasures you found. Leave us a comment.


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