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Japanese Cherry Blossom Trees
Every year thousands of people come to Washington, D.C., to see the Japanese cherry blossom trees. Nestled among impressive memorials, they make a breathtaking sight.
The beautiful Japanese cherry trees were a gift from the Mayor of Tokyo to celebrate the growing friendship between the United States and Japan. In 1910, 2,000 Japanese cherry trees arrived in Washington. The Department of Agriculture discovered they were infested with insects, and President Howard Taft agreed they should be burned.
In 1912, the Japanese sent 3,000 cherry trees. Mrs. Nellie Taft and the Japanese ambassador’s wife planted the first two saplings on the north bank of the Tidal Basin. A small plaque commemorates the event and rests beside those first two trees that are still standing.
Washington DC Walking Tour’s Cherry Blossom Trees
This walking tour will begin at the Martin Luther King Memorial Bookstore at 121 West Basin Drive. The tour covers approximately one mile and lasts about an hour and a half.
Most of the trees you will see are Yoshino cherry trees. They make up approximately 70% of all the trees in Washington. They have clusters of single white blossoms, creating a cotton ball effect. Beloved by the Japanese, their flowers have a pleasant almond scent.
The Kwanzan cherry tree is the second most abundant variety. Named for a Japanese mountain, its pink double blossoms resemble carnations.
Other trees you will see include
- Akebono cherry
- Weeping Japanese cherry
- Takesimensis cherry
- Usuzumi cherry
- Sargent cherry
- Autumn flowering cherry
- Fugenzo cherry
- Afterglow cherry
- Shirofugen cherry
- Okame cherry
Landmarks on DC Walking Tour
Enjoy the beauty of the cherry blossoms as you walk and see the landmarks. You’ll visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial which includes the Stone of Hope, a granite statue of the Civil Rights leader.
Next to the MLK Memorial is the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. See bronze sculptures of FDR, Eleanor Roosevelt and First Dog Fala. There are rooms from his four terms as President.
Your knowledgeable guide can tell you about the design of the memorials and local D.C. history. You’ll walk the path around the Tidal Basin, see the Potomac River and see the Pentagon from a distance. And delight in the sight of the beautiful cherry blossoms!
Your tour will end at the Jefferson Memorial. Built of white Georgian marble, it is a circular, open air structure with 26 Ionic columns, In the center is a 19 foot statue of Thomas Jefferson.
Be sure to bring your camera to capture all the beauty you’ll be seeing on this tour.
Washington DC Walking Tour Coupon
Are you looking for a way to save money on the tour? Click here and you can save $10 (28% discount) on each ticket.