New Plaza in D.C. Marks Origin of Cherry Blossoms - NBC4 Washington

New Plaza in D.C. Marks Origin of Cherry Blossoms



    Under the Tucson Sun
    Getty Images
    Cherry blossoms bloom on the edge of the Tidal Basin. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

    When you head out to view the cherry blossoms this spring, you may notice that a 360-year-old Japanese stone lantern that sits among the trees now has a more prominent place on the National Mall.

    The nonprofit Trust for the National Mall and Japan's ambassador unveiled a new granite plaza for the lantern along the Tidal Basin back in November. The $400,000 project began in April 2013.

    The centuries-old stone lantern sits among the original cherry trees that were a gift from Japan in 1912. The lantern and original trees are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and remain a symbol of friendship between the United States and Japan.

    The new plaza features natural stone boulders and a memorial plaque commemorating the gift of the cherry trees.

    The Japanese government sponsored the project with the Japan Commerce Association of Washington.