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Ephemeral blooms usher in spring at the Japanese Garden.

Posted April 3, 2014. Photo by Amy Landers/ABQ BioPark.

The Japanese Sakura celebration is centuries old, but delight in the cherry tree’s spring burst of white and pink blossoms is only recent U.S. history. After a visit to Japan in 1885, American writer, photographer and geographer Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore spent two and a half decades working to bring the trees to Washington D.C. The first two Japanese Cherries were planted along the Potomac River in 1910 and Japan has gifted the U.S. with many cherries trees since. Washington celebrated the first National Cherry Blossom Festival in 1935.

Cherry season in Washington D.C. has barely begun, but the many varieties of sakura are in full display at the Sasebo Japanese Garden. One showy tree, the Akebono, or “daybreak,” cherry, produces branches brimming with light pink flowers. Enjoy the fleeting beauty of cherry blossoms during the April Hanami tours each Wednesday in the Japanese Garden.

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