New Plaza in D.C. Marks Origin of Cherry Blossoms

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People gather along the tidal basin in downtown D.C. on April 10, 2013 to view the cherry blossoms which have come full bloom due to the warm weather. (Credit: Matt DelSignore/All-News 99.1 WNEW)

People gather along the tidal basin in downtown D.C. on April 10, 2013 to view the cherry blossoms which have come full bloom due to the warm weather. (Credit: Matt DelSignore/All-News 99.1 WNEW)

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WASHINGTON — A 360-year-old Japanese stone lantern that sits among Washington’s cherry blossom trees now has a more prominent place on the National Mall.

The nonprofit Trust for the National Mall and Japan’s ambassador are unveiling a new granite plaza for the lantern Friday along the Tidal Basin. The $400,000 project began in April.

The centuries-old stone lantern sits among the original cherry trees that were a gift from Japan 101 years ago. The lantern and original trees are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and remain a symbol of friendship between the United States and Japan.

The new plaza features natural stone boulders and a memorial plaque commemorating the 1912 gift of cherry trees.

The Japanese government sponsored the project with the Japan Commerce Association of Washington.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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