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A Child's Garden of Cherry Blossoms

March 12, 2000

This year's National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C., March 26 to April 9, features a major new cultural exhibit: "Japan Through the Eyes of a Child."

The permanent installation at the Capital Children's Museum was introduced quietly in November without media fanfare. It lets children enter a modern-day Japanese home, take a simulated ride on a high-speed Shinkansen train, visit a kimono maker and write haiku poetry.

During the festival, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, young visitors can also make origami blossoms. Admission to the museum, 800 3rd St. N.E., is $6, free to children 2 and under. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Tel. (202) 675-4120.

Most festival events, which include concerts, dance performances and sports events, are free. The parade down Constitution Avenue at 9:30 a.m. April 8 is free except for grandstand seats ($12). The blossoms, on average, peak April 4, but the date can vary by about a month. For information, call (202) 547-1500 or visit the festival's Internet site, http://www.gwjapan.com/cherryblossom.

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