Vancouver’s street tree population is well over 130,000 and about one third of those trees are of the Prunus genus variety – flowering cherry trees.
As April is the time for hanami – the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the beauty of sakura (cherry blossoms), here are the 5 best spots to see cherry blossoms in Vancouver over the next few weeks.
Of course, our very own Kitsilano neighbourhood is well known for its lovely flowering trees this time of year. Take a stroll along many of our streets, but especially along West 5th and 6th, Cypress Street, Yew Street, plus Kits Beach, Kits Point, and Vanier Park to take in the beauty of the blossom. And remember the words of Japanese poet Kobayashi Issa, “in the cherry blossom’s shade there’s no such thing as a stranger.”
2. Queen Elizabeth Park
One of the best places to view the elegant Yoshino cherry trees is at Queen Elizabeth Park, and on April 13, from 1:30pm to 3pm you can join a guide to explore over 1,500 other exotic and native trees at the park with a view. The pitch & putt golf should be open too.
3. Stanley Park
The Rose Garden and the Japanese Canadian War Memorial are ideal cherry blossom choices in Stanley Park. On April 5th, from 1pm to 4pm, and April 12, from 2pm to 3:30pm, a Tree Talk and Walk tour will take place to see Akebono plantings and other early-blooming ornamental cherry and plum trees in the park.
4. VanDusen Botanical Garden
The 2014 Sakura Days Japan Fair is on April 5-6 from 10am to 5pm at the VanDusen Botanical Garden. Celebrate the cultural arts and age old traditions of Japan at this event with tea ceremonies, ethnic food, premium sake sampling, guided garden walks, and haiku readings. Learn all about ikebana (flower arranging), calligraphy, and origami, while being entertained by Japanese dance and drumming. There will also be a kid’s tent for the little ones. Admission to the fair is under $12 per person (concessions available).
5. Nitobe Memorial Garden
Considered to be one of the most authentic Japanese gardens in North America, the Nitobe Memorial Garden at UBC is a peaceful place to experience hanami. On April 12, from 10am to 11:30am, you can join a Tree Talk and Walk to see Somei-Yoshino and other flowering cherries here. Admission to the garden is $7 for adults and about $5 or less for kids.
See the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival website for more information on the guided Tree Talk and Walk tours and more festival events during the month of April.
Last modified: April 10, 2017