Cherry Blossom Festival: 2014 Japanese Stone Lantern Lighting Ceremony to be held in newly restored plaza

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Kristine Fitton

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 2, 2014) — The traditional Japanese Stone Lantern Lighting Ceremony, one of the highlights of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, will be held on April 6, 2014 from 2:30 – 4pm at the newly restored plaza surrounding the historic lantern.

“Lighting this wonderful lantern is a symbolic start to spring in Washington,” said Caroline Cunningham, President of the Trust for the National Mall. “And now, we can hold this ceremony in a setting that befits both the occasion and the beautiful lantern. Through the combined efforts of the National Park Service, along with Government of Japan, the Japan Commerce Association of Washington, D.C. and the JCAW Foundation, the Trust for the National Mall was able to enhance this historically and environmentally significant landscape in time for the 2014 Cherry Blossom Festival.”

What:                    Ceremonial Lighting of the Japanese Stone Lantern

When:                   Sunday, April 6, 2014; 2:30-4 pm

Location:              Northwest corner of the Tidal Basin, 17th & Independence Avenues, NW

The landscape enhancement to the area around the Japanese Stone Lantern was initiated as part of the Japan-U.S. Cherry Blossom Centennial Celebration two years ago. The renovation was part of a public-private restoration project that was managed by the Trust for the National Mall, involving the Government of Japan, the Japan Commerce Association of Washington, D.C. (JCAW), and the Association’s Foundation, JCAW Foundation. Kurisu International, a landscape design-build firm dedicated to creating restorative garden environments, designed the new plans for the Japanese Stone Lantern plaza, which was completed in August 2013.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 360-year-old Japanese Stone Lantern, along with its grove of original cherry trees gifted from Japan 101 years ago, is a cherished symbol commemorating the friendship between the United States and Japan. Now the lantern, located at the northwest corner of the Tidal Basin, features a granite plaza with natural stone boulders and a memorial plaque commemorating the 1912 gift of cherry trees.

Learn more about the Japanese Lantern Plaza enhancement project at

About the Trust for the National Mall

The Trust for the National Mall is the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service dedicated to restoring and improving the National Mall, while providing new educational and volunteer opportunities that connect the park’s more than 29 million annual visitors to the National Mall’s rich history. For more information on the Trust for the National Mall, please visit