In 1912, the gift of 3,000 cherry trees from the mayor of Tokyo transformed springtime in Washington, D.C., into a blizzard of white sakura blossoms. War and economic rivalries have come and gone, but the trees stand — and now Nashville means to create a similar symbolic bond with Japan, the state’s largest overseas investor. Starting in 2009, the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival Committee began planting 100 cherry trees each spring to provide a backdrop for this annual event, which draws ever-larger crowds to Nashville Public Square for a celebration of Japanese culture from origami to anime and J-pop. Hiroshi Sato, consul-general of Japan, and Mayor Karl Dean lead the opening 2.5-mile Cherry Blossom Walk departing from the downtown Courthouse square at 9 a.m. The event continues throughout the afternoon with food from participating vendors such as Ichiban, Ken’s Sushi, Kotobuki, Woodbine Baptist Laotian, and Watanabe World Cuisine and Sushi; live music, dance and martial-arts demonstrations; an arts and crafts marketplace; and more. See nashvillecherryblossomfestival.org for more information.