Sakura Park

Located between Riverside Church and International House, Sakura Park owes its name to the more than 2000 cherry trees delivered to parks in New York City from Japan in 1912. The ideal time to visit the park is during April, when on your walk through the park you’ll be surrounded by the cherry tree blossoms. On your visit to the park, look out for it idyllic gazebo, its play area for toddlers, and its pavilion, used as a performance space by the Manhattan School of Music.

The word sakura means “cherry blossom” in Japanese.  The cherry trees were to be presented as a gift from the Committee of Japanese Residents of New York as part of the Hudson-Fulton Celebration in 1909.

This 18-day celebration, which commemorated the 100th anniversary of Robert Fulton’s innovative demonstration of the steam-powered boat on the Hudson River and the 300th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s discovery and exploration of that river, took place throughout the state of New York.  However, the steamer that carried the original delivery of cherry trees from Japan was lost at sea.  A new shipment of trees arrived in New York City in 1912, and they were planted in Riverside and Sakura Parks at that time.

At the 1986 ribbon-cutting ceremony, Japanese Consul Hideo Nomoto stated: “In Japan, the sakura is a symbol of renewal and bright promise.  The appearance of their fragile blossoms each spring strikes a resonant note in all Japanese.  New Yorkers can enjoy cherry trees once again in Sakura Park, an island of calm on the hectic island of Manhattan.”

Sakura Park

Riverside Dr., Claremont Ave. To W. 122 St.

New York, NY 10027

http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/sakurapark/history

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