Published on March 18, 2015 by Lola Augustine Brown

If you’re planning a trip to DC, then spring is such a beautiful time of year to visit. Hit the city at the right time, you can enjoy the blossoming of some 3750 Japanese flowering cherry trees, a natural event so wonderful that the city has built a festival around it. Every year, visitors come to see the cherry blossoms in their full glory, on what is called Peak Bloom Date, defined as the date on which 70% of the trees are in bloom, and it truly is a gorgeous sight to behold.


Although you cannot guarantee when the trees will be in bloom, as that is something only nature dictates (and can be skewed by bad weather like we’ve had this year), you can plan a trip that enables you to take part in the many cultural events and activities of the cherry blossom festival, which in 2015 runs from March 20th through April 12th, and bills itself as The Nation’s Greatest Springtime celebration.


The Cherry Blossom Festival kicks off with an impressive opening ceremony where top Japanese and American performers celebrate the anniversary of these trees being bestowed upon the US by Japan in 1912. A variety of inspiring acts will be onstage, from Japanese pop singer Misato Watanabe, a traditional Japanese orchestra, American R&B act Deborah Bond and her band Third Logic, and classical piano performances.


From then on there are a number of neat events you can join, everything from eating with the Tokyo Picnic Club in the Great Hall of the National Building Museum (you bring your own picnic), a Japanese film festival, workshops and lectures on Japanese arts and crafts, a Japanese Jazz series, ranger led programming in the national parks where many of the trees are located, family friendly events, and much more. You can see the full program of events here.


Plenty of local restaurants join in with the festival, presenting special creative spring menus as part of the Cherry Picks Restaurant Program. Whether your tastes (and budget) stretch to the Empress Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental, Hanks Oyster Bar, Pizzeria Paradiso, or whatever type of food you want, there are more than 50 local restaurants taking part. Delicious and entertaining, the DC Cherry Blossom Festival offers plenty to appeal, whatever you’re into, with  Japanese twist.


Getting around DC is easy with Scootaround, reach out to our local offices for info on how we can help you get the most out of your trip, and take care of all your mobility needs. 


Images Used in This Article
Article feature image, "Washington DC - Jefferson Memorial" by John Bencina   CC by-NC-ND 2.0
Cherry Blossom Image 1,  "Cherry Blossom Festival-7" by Louis Rodriguez   CC by NC-SA 2.0

Cherry Blossom Image 2,  "PinkCherry Blossoms" by Bart Heird   CC by NC-ND 2.0