One of the highlights of the cruise was
the opportunity to meet Mr. Toyohiko Mikimoto, Chairman of the K. Mikimoto & Co., Ltd. pearl company,
that made the first cultured pearls in 1893.
Mr. Mikimoto and Mikimoto Pearls have been long time participants in both the National Cherry Blossom Festival and the Japanese Flowering Dogwood Festival.
Mr. Mikimoto and his wife are pictured with Jackie Wolfe, the National Cherry Blossom Festival President, and with the two 1999 Goodwill Ambassadors Elizabeth S. Webster and Launa Melissa Sims, both studying Japanese in college.