Getting on/off the motor coach. Walking up to 1 mile; standing up to 1 hour. Please note that the "peak" bloom of the cherry blossoms varies from year to year and is unpredictable, and we can not guarantee that you will see the cherry blossoms in bloom. Be prepared to expect large crowds and heavy traffic throughout the day as this is the busiest time of year in the city.
At the hotel, we will have a buffet featuring a variety of options, plus coffee, tea, water.
We will be joined at the hotel by a retired Ambassador. Our presenter spent 31 years at the State Department in various roles in Japan. This former President of the Japan-America Society of Washington, D.C. will present to us on US-Japan relations. Afterwards, we will enjoy a lecture on the planning and construction of the National Mall and its place in D.C. history with the Chair and Founder of the National Mall Coalition.
Enjoy a buffet lunch at the hotel.
Our first field trip is to the U.S. National Arboretum. A living museum of trees, the national arboretum is a haven of plant varieties from all over the world – including the infamous cherry blossom trees. The arboretum features both displays of abundant plant life and an opportunity to learn about the scientific and horticultural research that take place there. Upon our arrival we will be re-joined by our cherry blossoms expert lecturer, who will share another traditional Japanese plant with us, the bonsai. Enjoy her commentary while you explore the Arboretum's bonsai garden. A staff horticulturalist will join the group to demonstrate the intricate pruning process that is so distinctive to bonsai tradition. You will have time afterward to walk around the other gardens of the Arboretum on your own, including the adjacent herb garden, and explore the other beautiful plant species within the arboretum.
This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.
At leisure to explore the city on your own.