Cherry Blossoms at Japan House


Blooming cherry trees, known as ‘sakura’ in Japanese, signify the welcoming of spring, while the act of viewing and celebrating the blossoms is called ‘hanami.’ Hanami is translated as “flower viewing” — hana (flower) and mi (to see or view), and the tradition can be traced back a thousand years.

Here in the U.S., Washington, D.C. is the most well-known destination for cherry blossom viewing (it was famously gifted more than 3,000 cherry trees by Japan in 1912).

Cherry blossoms hit their peak anywhere from late March to early May, depending on weather conditions. Once the flowers hit peak bloom, they typically last anywhere from three to eight days before shedding their petals.

Typically, sakura happens in Urbana sometime during the first half of April, a couple of weeks later than peak bloom in Washington, D.C.


Dr. Genshitsu Sen, the 15th generation of the Urasenke Tea School in Japan, donates 50 cherry trees to Japan House in the spring. They are planted under the direction of his gardener, Katsuo Kubo to create the Sen Cherry Tree Allée.