Hey, PNWJETAA. You are so lucky to be in Seattle where we can take advantage of such beautiful cherry trees. I am sure you all have your favorite place to check out the blossoms, so let’s start a discussion as to where that is. This year, PNWJETAA will not be organizing an official Hanami event, but we absolutely encourage you to go out and take in the beautiful weather and enjoy the changing of the seasons. We would also love your input! Where are your favorite blossom spots?
Of course, the most popular place to see the blossoms is in the “Quad” of the University of Washington. The trees were first planted on land that is now the approach to the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge east of Montlake Boulevard. The trees were originally set in a grove as part of the Washington Park Arboretum.
Instead of just cutting down the trees during road construction in the early 1960’s, the trees were relocated from that original spot to the University’s Quad. Now they are treasures for the university with yearly maintenance schedules and original cuttings from the trees growing in a nursery in Mount Vernon, Washington if any unrepairable damage happens to any of the trees. This ensures we will be able to enjoy these blossoms for many more years to come!
Don’t forget, PNWJETAA will have a booth at the Seattle Cherry Blossom Festival coming up at Seattle Center on April 17-19. The festival, now many a Japanese cultural festival is held each year at this time to celebrate the anniversary of Takeo Miki, then prime minister of Japan, giving Seattle 1,000 Japanese cherry trees in celebration of the United State’s Bicentennial (1976). The gift was a thank you for his years spent studying in Seattle.
You can also check out the JungleCity Cherry Blossom page. Updated daily with the current status of the UW Quad Cherry Blossoms. (In Japanese)