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Nowadays one can find the Sakura, or the so-called Cherry trees, virtually everywhere. Every city has at least a dozen spread across the various random neighborhoods. But there are only a few cities in the whole World that offer an incredible opportunity to see many Sakura trees in one place. What’s so incredible about that? Well, the trees do not look any different from other trees that is until that short period when they start to bloom.
One city that is lucky enough to have that divine ‘garden of trees’ is Washington DC, the capital of the United Sates. Visiting it during the Cherry trees blooming period is a bucket list activity for all of us, and should be done at least once in a lifetime.
Brief history and location
The Cherry Trees in Washington DC, were an official gift of friendship from the country of Japan in 1912. They were planted strategically around the Tidal Basin lake area and around the Washington Monument.
When to go
The Sakura trees bloom every year around the months of March-April. Unfortunately this year (in 2016) they already reached their peak on March 25. You can still visit the park even a week or two after (or before) the trees reach their bloom period as you will still be able to catch some amazing sights. You can check the forecast for the next year on the official website here: http://cherryblossomwatch.com/peak-bloom-forecast/
How to get there
Washington DC has a very good transportation network, with two busy airports: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport that is not far from the city center, and Dulles International Airport about 26 miles from the city. There is also an extensive railway and bus system connecting Washington DC to other towns. Therefore, you can access it easily by any mode of transportation.
Plan in advance
Unfortunately the official dates for the Cherry Trees Blooming Festival are only an estimate, as it is hard to predict when exactly the trees will reach their peak. However one thing that is definite is that the hotel prices will jump double if not triple in price during the season, therefore it is in your best interest to book a hotel accommodation as far in advance as possible. And if you can’t find anything in the center or even in the city itself, try finding something in the vicinity, and then drive in or take a bus. The prices in the vicinity tend to stay much lower than in the capital.
Expect traffic and huge crowds
The period during the Cherry Trees Blooming Festival can be quite hectic with thousands of people out on the streets around the park area. Unfortunately, there is no avoiding the crowd, therefore it is best if you come prepared with this knowledge so you know what to expect in advance.
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Over to you – please leave your thoughts on the Washington DC’s Cherry Tree Festival in the comments section below, or submit your own story about your trip there, and we will publish it on our website!