Japan,  U.S.A

Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC

2x11664217What happens when you mix flowers, food, music, friends and that long-awaited for spring-time weather? A whole lotta fun times, that’s what!

I’m speaking of the annual, two-week long celebration of peace, love and cooperation between two great nations, Japan and U.S.A, during The Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C.

Most of the lovely, ethereal trees were gifts of friendship from Japan, pre and post WWII, symbolizing diplomacy and international good will. Celebrated in many cities (Nashville March 23; DC March 20-April 14; San Francisco April 13-21; Newark April 6-20; Seattle April 26-28; Denver June 22-23), The National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC is perhaps the largest and most well-known of all the celebrations.


Wanderlust and Lipstick‘s Angie Hilbert writes beautifully about the spectacular but brief show the cherry blossom trees put on (they bloom for two to three weeks), reminding her of “the beauty and brevity of life.” She waxes lyrical about the symbolic nature of the trees, both as gifts of international peace, diplomacy and friendship from Japan, and the ephemeral blooms, a reminder to slow down to appreciate cherished relationships and the stolen small moments that comprise our rich yet short lives. We should stop and smell the cherry blossoms, as it were, and be grateful for the love and precious moments in life.

Walking around the Tidal Basin during the Cherry Blossom Festival

Walking around the Tidal Basin during the Cherry Blossom Festival

Walking around the Tidal Basin during the Cherry Blossom Festival

It’s not just about the trees

Yes, most people travel to DC in April to see the sea of pink and white puffy petals surrounding the Tidal Basin, as they should. It’s truly a spectacular site to behold. However, The Cherry Blossom Festival in DC goes way beyond petal peeping (You like that? It’s my variation on leaf peeping).


Streets in downtown DC are closed to traffic, where famous Japanese bands play, and make-shift beer gardens supply festival goers with refreshing adult beverages. So fun! Alan took this shot of me and my good friend Audra at the festival a couple of years ago.

There are parades, street festivals, concerts, cultural performances, photography workshops, food tours, tea ceremonies, art shows, and literally almost anything that you can think of that involves the celebration of culture and heritage (the good stuff in life!). Check the schedule here.



Added bonus: most of these amazing activities are free!


Japanese drummers from Tamagawa University in Tokyo

Japanese street festival

Japanese street festival


National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade

Sakura Matsuri- Japanese street festival

Sakura Matsuri- Japanese street festival

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is happening at this very moment. Put this one on your bucket list and plan for next year!

Other posts on Washington DC:

Washington DC, The Heart Of The Empire

20 Things To Do In Washington DC

Going Out In Washington DC: It’s All About Neighborhoods

Washington DC Restaurants: Top City Fit For Foodies

Thanks for stopping by!



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