Cherry Blossoms or Sakurai have been a symbol of US friendship since the Mayor of Tokyo donated 3,000 cherry trees to Washington, DC in 1912. Today cherry blossom festivals are celebrated every spring all over the United States.
The Nashville cherry blossom festival kicked off Saturday morning at the Nashville Public Square with a 2.5 mile walk. Mayor Karl Dean and Consul General Kato of japan lead the way.
The 5th annual Cherry Blossom Festival featured a day full of Japanese entertainment, music and arts and crafts.
"You know Tennessee is such the center of Japanese business and we are so proud of that relationship. It's just natural that we have this celebration," Mayor Dean told Nashville's News 2.
He added that it's also a tribute that the Consul General office for the Southeast is located in Music City, honoring our close connections and business between Tennessee and Japan.
"More than sixty-percent of the foreign investment in Tennessee comes from Japan, so Japanese people really love to invest," Consul General Kato explained.
While the festival is a day of fun and friendship, the event has raised tens of thousands of dollars for earthquake and tsunami relief in the past.