Press Releases

Cherry Blossom Centennial Celebration

Cherry Blossom Centennial Celebration

New York, NY, February 29, 2012: One of spring icons, cherry blossom, has been brought to the United States from Japan exactly 100 years ago, and Japan is celebrating the centennial in New York City.

March 1st marks the one-time only moments of "the Crossroad of the World" Times Square in cherry blossom pink! This dazzling digital display, featured on Times Square giant video screens, marks the centennial of the historic gift of cherry blossom trees from Japan to the United States. This also is the kickoff of JAPAN WEEK , a 10-day celebration of Japanese food and culture, proving Japan as a premiere tourism destination. New York City becomes the venue of a series of back-to-back Japan-related events, and JAPAN WEEK will continue to engender a deeper understanding of Japan and its people, particularly the resilience they have demonstrated as the one year anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami approaches on March 11th.

• As a preshow, 3 Gray Line double-decker buses are cruising Manhattan with JAPAN WEEK billboard starting on February 21.

• JAPAN WEEK starts on Thursday, March 1st: At 11:10AM, Times Square will be turned pink as "Cherry Blossom Square" as giant video screens filled with digital blooming cherry trees in a dazzling, one of a kind display. Although the digital cherry blossom will repeat a few times every hour in March, this is the largest and the longest moment of the pink Times Square.

• Grand Central Station's historic Vanderbilt Hall will be transformed into a microcosm of Japan from Thursday, March 1st to Saturday, March 3rd. This will be the showcase of Japan's premier destination, a diverse array of distinct Japanese food and merchandise. On March 1st, performances of Japanese drums and Japanese harp will complement cooking demonstrations and tastings by renowned chefs. Japan tourism information services will also be on-hand.

• From Friday, March 2nd through Sunday, March 4th, a special "Japan Booth" welcomes visitors to explore their dream vacations in Japan at the New York Times Travel Show at the Javits Convention Center.

• From Sunday, March 4th to Tuesday, March 6th, the Japan Pavilion at the 2012 International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of NY at the Javits Convention Center (open to food trade professionals, only) will show why Japan is the place to be for those with cultivated gastronomic tastes.

UNIQLO Fifth Avenue Global Flagship, located on the corner of 53rd Street, will welcome celebrated New York chef's that are inspired by Japanese culture to serve delectable sweets and Japanese green tea for all visitors to enjoy. UNIQLO will create a Japan room to showcase product from popular collaborative collections such as the UNIQLO Designer Invitation Project with DOUBLE STANDARD, UNIQLO T-Shirt (UT) collaborations with Hello Kitty and One Piece, and of course 100% made in Japan denim. For more information on UNIQLO's in store Japan Week celebration please visit or

JAPAN WEEK's finale is Dine Out for Japan – Restaurant Week, created to raise money for Japan's recovery from the earthquake and tsunami. From Wednesday, March 7th to Sunday, March 11th, all are encouraged to dine out at participating tri-state area restaurants that will donate a portion of their Dine Out sales to the relief efforts. The proceeds will be donated to the JAA Japan Disaster Relief Fund.

For more information on JAPAN WEEK, please visit

For more information contact:
Nori Akashi, Public Relations Manager


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