Cherry Blossom Tree, Gifts From Japan, Less Celebrated in Manhattan than D.C.

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The blossoming cherry trees around the Tidal Basin in Washington, a gift of friendship from Japan in 1912, attract millions of ogling, photo-snapping visitors each spring. For their 100th anniversary, the fluffy pink blooms are receiving more attention than ever, featuring celebrations organized by the Japanese Embassy across this country and a special-issue 45-cent stamp.

Far less celebrated, and largely forgotten, are the cherry trees — 2,500 of them, nearly as many as were sent to Washington — that Japan gave New York City a century ago.

While Washington’s cherries were planted in one area, probably a wise marketing decision, New York spread its out across Upper Manhattan, in several areas of Central Park, Riverside Park and an annex to Riverside east of Riverside Drive and Grant’s Tomb that was renamed Sakura Park. Sakura is Japanese for cherry tree....

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