Traditional events in Japan; March 3rd is Hinamaturi (Girl’s Festiva).
Hinamatsuri (Girl’s Festival) is the day to pray for the healthy growth and happiness of young girls.
Old Shizutani School
Japan’s oldest school for commoners, certified as the first Japan Heritage site
- 784, Shizutani, Bizen City, Okayama Prefecture
- 8 min by taxi from JR Yoshinaga Sta.
- Business Hours
- 9:00am – 5:00pm
- December 29 – 31
- General admission 400 yen; students 100 yen (elementary and junior high); seniors (65 and older) 200 yen
Spring in Japan – Enjoy beautiful cherry blossoms in Okayama!
Okayama has many wonderful spots to see the cherry blossoms, and all of them are great places to enjoy a picnic with friends during the season!
Guide to the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC
Everything you want to know about DC’s cherry blossom trees and the National Cherry Blossom Festival can be found right here.
Nothing signifies the arrival of spring in the District quite like the blooming of the cherry blossom trees and the three-week National Cherry Blossom Festival to celebrate the occasion. More than 1.5 million visitors descend upon Washington, DC each year to admire the 3,000-plus trees. The festival, which runs from March 20 – April 15, is full of events that honor both American and Japanese cultures and represents a close bond forged between the two countries that began with Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki’s gift of the trees back in 1912.
Tell me more about DC’s cherry blossoms and peak bloom
Peak bloom is the magical moment visitors want to be on hand for during the cherry blossom season. The peak bloom date is defined as the day when 70 percent of the trees surrounding the Tidal Basin have opened their buds, creating an unforgettable sea of pink and white. The National Park Service (NPS) is responsible for measuring the growth of the buds of the trees. Each year, the organization provides a prediction of when peak bloom will arrive.
On average, peak bloom occurs on April 4, but that date changes year-to-year. For instance, 2012’s peak bloom occurred on March 20 due to unseasonably warm weather, while 2014’s bloom did not happen until April 10 due to a cold winter. The blooming period, when 20 percent of the blossoms are open before the petals and leaves fall, can last up to 14 days, depending on weather conditions. Just remember that “forecasting peak bloom is almost impossible more than 10 days in advance,” according to NPS.
For more tips to help plan your visit, make sure to check out our list of things you need to know about the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
Please do your part in helping to protect the National Mall and the cherry blossoms. We kindly remind you to enjoy the blossoms, but never pick them (it’s against the law).
More about the National Cherry Blossom Festival
The National Cherry Blossom Festival isn’t just a celebration of the blossoms—it’s a three-week-long cultural festival held all over the city. Get things started at the Pink Tie Party — a fundraiser featuring cocktails (with accompanying attire), cuisine, live music and dancing. The Opening Ceremony, a free event held at the Warner Theatre, includes traditional and contemporary performances from American and Japanese artists. Other popular events include the Blossom Kite Festival, Petalpalooza (formerly the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival) and the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade presented by Events DC, which is followed by the Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival. For a full list of can’t-miss cherry blossom events, see our guide to events during the festival.
How do I get to the cherry blossom trees surrounding the Tidal Basin?
There are many great ways to get to the stunning cherry blossom trees surrounding the Tidal Basin. If you’re taking the Metro, use the Blue, Orange or Silver lines and exit at the Smithsonian Metro stop. From there, it’s a 10-15 minute walk to the Tidal Basin Welcome Area, located at 1501 Maine Avenue SW. Via Metrobus, the 32, 34 or 36 routes will drop you at the National Mall, near the Washington Monument. A 10-minute walk south will bring you to the welcome area.
For more information about getting to the blossoms, check out our guide to reaching the most-popular cherry blossom spots in DC, as well as less-populated areas for blossom revelry.
Where can I stay during the National Cherry Blossom Festival?
Many DC-area hotels offer special cherry blossom-themed packages, which, in addition to deals and discounts, may include a free bloom-inspired cocktail, chocolates, meals or more. Check out all the places to stay in Washington, DC.
Fun Facts about Washington, DC’s cherry blossoms
- Did you know the first donation of 2,000 trees, received in 1910, was burned on orders from President William Howard Taft? Insects and disease had infested the gift, but after hearing about the plight of the first batch, the Japanese mayor sent another 3,020 trees to DC two years later.
- Did you know First Lady Helen Herron Taft planted the first tree in West Potomac Park? Many First Ladies, including Mamie Eisenhower, Lady Bird Johnson, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush, have officially commemorated the blossoms. On March 27, 2012, Michelle Obama took up the cause by planting a cherry tree to mark the centennial of the blossoms.
- Did you know one of the earliest recorded peak blooms occurred on March 15, 1990, while the latest recorded peak bloom occurred on April 18, 1958?
- Did you know the majority of the cherry blossom trees around the Tidal Basin are of the Yoshino variety? But another species, the Kwanzan, usually blooms two weeks after the Yoshino trees, giving visitors a second chance to catch the blossoms.
If you’re visiting the District and looking to snap the perfect blossom photo, check out our guide to the top spots for photographing the cherry blossoms
Introduction of the year’s new sake is a sign of spring in Japan. Enjoy the great taste this year too!
Hiraki Sake Brewery
Saturday, March 3 – Sunday, March 4 8:00am-3:30pm
1283 Kamogata, Kamogata-cho, Asakuchi City
Sanko Masamune Sake Brewery
Sunday, March 4 10:00am-4:00pm
951 Kamikojiro, Tessei-cho, Niimi City
Horetsu Sake Brewery
Sunday, March 4 10:00am-3:00pm
2535-1 Ukan, Ukan-cho, Takahashi City
Miyake Sake Brewery
Saturday, March 10 10:00am-3:00pm
355 Shuku, Soja City
PEACE ～For Tomorrow’s Smile～
Self-Defense Force of Japan were established in 1954, for the self-defense purpose.
In times of major disaster, the Self-Defense force perform rescue activities and restoration of the scene.
A tasting journey through the wide variety of sake in Okayama
– Find your favorite! –
Miyashita Sake Brewery (Doppo-kan)
- Japanese Sake Brewery
[Tasting and production process tour available]Days open and closed, times, content, and brewery tour rates may change. Please contact each brewery for the latest information.
- Miyashita Sake Brewery was founded in 1915. It is located about 10 minutes from JR Okayama Station. It produces sake, a few dozen local beers, including Doppo. Located at the brewery, Doppo-kan offers visitors a chance to view the process of manufacturing sake, local beers, and whiskies. Tasting and purchase are also possible.
Days open and closed, times, content, and brewery tour rates may change. Please contact each brewery for the latest information.
[Multilingual staff ]
English (2 staff)
[Available number ]
From one person to 2 bus loads (*It is best to bring an interpreter for group tours.)
Approximately 30 minutes
[Production process tour]
Sake Brewery, Beer Brewery, Whiskey Distillery (*Content may vary depending on the day of visit.)
11:00am – Noon (last entry 11:30am), 1:00pm – 4:00pm (last entry 3:30pm)
7 days advanced reservations requested.
All year round
Wednesdays & New Year’s Holiday
Restaurant : 11:30am – 9:00pm (last order 8:30pm)
Shop : 10:00am – 7:00pm
184 Nishigawara, Naka Ward, Okayama City
Approximately 3 minutes by train from JR Okayama Station to JR Nishigawara Station → Approximately 3 minutes o
Miyashita Sake Brewery (Doppo-kan)