Washington D.C.

National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C.

Greet the spring as you discover iconic monuments, the National Arboretum and the unparalleled beauty of Washington D.C.’s cherry blossom trees.
Rating (5)
Program No. 18683RJ
4 days
Starts at

At a Glance

Each year, the 3,000 flowering cherry trees planted in Washington D.C. in 1912 herald springtime and honor the friendship between the United States and Japan. Known as “sakura” in Japan, the cherry blossom is cherished for its unrivaled beauty and fragrance despite its short life. Greet the spring as you explore the city and the U.S. National Arboretum. Expert instructors will illuminate Japanese history and culture, while showcasing our own nation’s historical treasures in spring glory.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Experience a lively presentation of an age-old piece of Japanese culture, 'taiko' drumming and learn about its place in Japanese tradition and society today.
  • Learn about the history of the cherry blossom trees and other plant life from Japanese tradition, like bonsai.
  • Explore the U.S. National Arboretum, learn more about the art of horticulture and see garden collections from around the world including Japanese bonsai.

General Notes

Max of 80 participants, divided into groups for activities.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Monument Wars: Washington, D.C., the National Mall, and the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape
by Kirk Savage
In Monument Wars, Kirk Savage tells the Mall's engrossing story—its historic plan, the structures that populate its corridors, and the sea change it reveals regarding national representation.
The Cherry Blossoms of Japan, their season a period of festivity and poetry
by Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore
The Cherry Blossom Festival: Sakura Celebration
by Ann McClellan
Lavishly illustrated and fact-filled, The Cherry Blossom Festival: Sakura Celebration is a fascinating and informative look into one of the world's greatest festivals. From Tokyo to Washington, D.C. these exuberant festivals celebrate the ethereal and glorious springtime blooming of the ancient cherry blossom tree and its role today as an instrument of diplomacy, landscape enhancement and eternal sign of spring and romance.
The Japanese Flowering Cherry Trees of Washington, D. C. : a Living Symbol of Friendship
by Roland M. Jefferson
This publication provides a historical narrative documenting in detail the origin and history of the Japanese flowering cherry tress in Washington D.C. In particular, it discusses their introduction and planting along the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park.
Japanese Flowering Cherries
by Wybe Kuitert
Japanese flowering cherries have inspired gardeners for more than 12 centuries. They include both the seven wild species and the hundreds of forms and cultivars known for centuries as sato-zakura, or garden cherries. This account covers their history and cultural significance, clears up long-standing confusions in taxonomy and nomenclature, and presents them in all their magnificence.
The Samarai Way
by Tom O'Neill
Cherry Blossoms, The Official Book of the National Cherry Blossom Festival
by Ann McClellan

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