This year, hundreds of cherry trees will be planted in Southern California to commemorate the cherries that were planted in Washington D.C. one hundred years ago. The extravagant gift of cherry trees continues to be a lasting symbol of Japan–U.S. friendship.
Every year you can see a tableau of cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. The famed cherry trees were given to the U.S. capital city by Japan in 1912. More than 3,000 trees—and 12 different varieties—made the overseas journey from Yokohama to the District of Columbia.
Since that time, Japanese organizations have made gifts of cherry trees to America to commemorate significant milestones in the relationship between Japan and the United States.
In Southern California, there are numerous places where you can see flowering cherry trees which were planted by Japanese individuals or Japan-related organizations.
In 2012 there will be at least twelve (12!) cherry blossom festivals throughout Southern California commemorating the centennial.
Press were invited to the Sakura Centennial Opening, which initiated a series of events that will be held in Southern California and Arizona this year in celebration of the 2012 Japan – U.S. Cherry Blossom Centennial. The event was held at the Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, whose recently refurbished Japanese garden is soon to open.
Co-sponsored by the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles and the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, the Sakura Centennial Opening showcased regional cherry blossom festivals and other events that will take place during this commemorative year. Participating organizations were on hand to tell about their events.
Additionally, the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens will give cherry trees for planting in public gardens and spaces, parks, schools, and non-profit institutions.
Cherry Blossom Festivals in Southern California & Arizona:
|Information will be updated as soon as dates are set for upcoming Cherry Blossom Festivals.|
|February 25 & 26, 2012||Arizona Matsuri|
|March 3, 2012||South Coast Botanic Gardens Cherry Blossom Picnic Day|
|March 4, 2012||City of Torrance Cherry Blossom Festival|
|March 17, 2012||Cherry Blossom Festival of San Diego|
|March 17, 2012||Schabarum Park Cherry Blossom Festival|
|March 24 & 25, 2012||Descanso Gardens Cherry Blossom Festival|
|March 31, 2012||City of West Covina Cherry Blossom Festival|
|April 1, 2012||Bowers Museum Cherry Blossom Festival|
|TBA||El Camino College Cherry Blossom Festival|
||TBA||Japanese Institute of Sawtelle Cherry Blossom Festival|
|April 21 & 22, 2012||Monterey Park Cherry Blossom Festival|
|April 22, 2012||Pacific Asia Museum Cherry Blossom Festival|
Also –TBA — Lake Balboa Japanese Garden’s Cherry Blossom display.
Chapman University’s cherry blossom festival will be March 28.
Visit this webpage for an overview of the Centennial.
For more information on the history, visit the National Cherry Blossom Festival official website.
The Government of Japan is encouraging organizations to hold commemorative events for the Japan-U.S. Cherry Blossom Centennial. The Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles has outlined three areas of focus for Southern California.
Planting cherry trees in your community. Procure and plant trees in areas of your city for all to enjoy, for example, city parks. Cherry blossom festivals and commemorative events. Remembering and honoring those who contributed to the propagation and planting of cherry trees in Southern California. In this centennial year, we pay tribute to those who beautified Southern California by propagating and planting cherry trees. We encourage oral histories of gardeners, horticulturalists, and individuals who made significant contributions to Southern California by promoting Japan – U.S. friendship through cherry trees.
If your organization is planning a commemorative event to celebrate the cherry blossom centennial please inform the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles. You may apply to use the official logo for the Japan – U.S. Cherry Blossom Festival Centennial (top left of this page) for your website, publications, and posters. If so, please download and complete the application.
Send event information, completed logo use applications, and inquiries to: [email protected].