Japanese Lantern on the Tidal Basin

Preserving the Tidal Basin's first cherry tree grove.

In 2013, the Trust for the National Mall managed the construction of the Japanese Stone Lantern Plaza on the Tidal Basin. The project, which began in April 2013, was completed in August and unveiled in a ceremony with Japanese Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae in November.

At 360 years old, the Japanese Stone Lantern is on the National Register of Historic Places, and has been preserved as the historic centerpiece of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. The festival attracts more than 1.5 million visitors to experience the changing of the seasons on America’s Front Yard. The lantern is surrounded by a granite plaza with natural stone boulders and a memorial plaque commemorating the cherry trees that were given to the United States by Japan in 1912, representing the friendship between the two nations.

The plaza is part of the Trust for the National Mall’s continued efforts to reduce the environmental footprint on America’s Front Yard by protecting the nearby cherry trees from soil erosion and compaction while making the lantern more accessible to visitors.

The landscape enhancement project was a part of the 2012 Japan-U.S. Cherry Blossom Centennial Celebration.