The cherry blossoms are alive in Washington, D.C., and these fresh blooms offer the perfect frame for some of the nation's most historic buildings — like the Jefferson Memorial above, seen beyond the cherry blossoms at sunrise.

The first trees were planted on the Tidal Basin by first lady Helen Taft and Japanese Viscountess Iwa Chinda in 1912, symbolizing friendship between the two countries. Thousands more cover the National Mall and Memorial Parks as a gift from Japan.

The blooms are lovely — but short-lived. Take a visual tour of this beautiful perspective of the nation's capital:

Washington MonumentThe Washington Monument. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The Washington Monument stands tall behind the cherry trees near the Tidal Basin.

Capitol Building The Capitol Building. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The U.S. Capitol building is surrounded by Yoshino cherry trees.

Rowing along PotomacThe Potomac River. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Rowers enjoy an early practice along the Potomac River.

Cherry blossoms A close-up look at a cherry blossom. (Photo: Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)

Traditionally, the peak blooming season of these delicate flowers in D.C. is mid-April, but this year, it's earlier. The National Park Service says the peak of the cherry blossom show in the nation’s capital will be from April 5-8.

Editor's note: This file has been updated since it was originally published in April 2014.