The U.S. capital, Washington D.C., has kicked off its annual Cherry Blossom Festival - a celebration of cultural, family and community events highlighting U.S.-Japanese friendship.
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to visit Washington for the two-week celebration. Visitors can stroll a waterfront area by the city's famous monuments to view thousands of cherry trees and their delicate pink and white blossoms that reach their peak this time of year.
Japan gave the United States 3,000 cherry trees in 1912 to mark six decades of friendly relations. Since then, the trees have been an annual attraction that draws visitors from all over the world.
Events Saturday include a kite-flying competition, and family activities and workshops that include Japanese art performances and demonstrations, including the paper-folding art of origami.
A 16-kilometer road race is scheduled for April 2, and a street festival and parade for April 8. The festival runs through April 9.
Some information for this report provided by AP.