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Sakura Park

Location: 500 Riverside Dr, New York, NY 10027

Located between Riverside Church and International House, Sakura Park owes its name to the more than 2,000 cherry trees delivered to parks in New York City from Japan in 1912. 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.

Land for Sakura Park was purchased from John D. Rockefeller by the City of New York as an easterly extension of Riverside Park in 1896. Also known as Claremont Park, this land directly east of Grant’s Tomb featured rolling terrain with a curvilinear path system and benches facing the Hudson. With a donation from Mr. Rockefeller, the City hired Olmsted Brothers as landscape architects to redesign the park in 1932.

At just two acres, this lovely park is one of New York City's smaller areas, but it features a play area for children, a performance pavilion used by the Manhattan School of Music and a stone Japanese tori donated by the city of Tokyo in 1960. Located close by Grant’s Tomb, it is well worth a visit.