Photos Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

The Indicator Tree

Many cherry blossom festivals have selected a special tree to serve as an “index tree” (Tokyo) or “indicator tree” (Washington D.C.) When over 70% of its flowers are in bloom, they declare that cherry trees are officially in bloom in the city.

The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival does not have an official indicator tree so, for the purpose of the First International Cherry Blossom Prediction Competition, the Akebono trees in Maple Grove Park, at the corner of SW Marine Drive and Yew Street, were designated as the Vancouver location. In a way, these trees will serve as our first indicator trees.

Douglas Justice is monitoring the trees and will declare their official blooming date. Stay tuned for the big reveal.

Photo: Douglas Justice.
Photos Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Virtual visit of Akebono cherry trees at Burrard skytrain station (interactive map)

Our beautiful Akebono cherry trees are blooming at Burrard Skytrain station.

Since the Vancouver City issued an order to respect physical distancing due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), we thought we’d offer you a safe way to do cherry blossom viewing. . .  online.

Click on this interactive map for a virtual visit of Akebono cherry trees outside Burrard Skytrain station.

Burrard skytrain map
All photos by Jessica Tremblay.

Burrard skytrain station is a truly special location for cherry blossom viewing in Vancouver.  There are thirty-four Akebono cherry trees outside the station: one tree at the front, then three rows of trees. Walking under the canopy is a true pleasure.


The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival usually holds its festival launch — the popular Cherry Jam concert — at this location, but unfortunately we had to cancel this year because of Covid-19.

If you go cherry blossom viewing, please be safe and maintain physical distancing.

Photos Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Pandora cherry blossoms

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The six Pandora trees behind Brentwood mall (at Fairlawn and Brentlawn) are 100% in bloom

One of the main characteristics of the Pandora is that the tip of the petals is slightly darker pink. However, as the flower progresses on the trees (and also once the flower is fallen) it’s hard to see this since the flowers turn white.

Most Pandora flowers fall WHOLE. You’ll find the grounds covered in flowers.

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Cherry Scouts Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Three ways to plan a cherry blossom walk: Do-it-yourself walks, Blooming Now, Neighbourhood Maps

Our cherry scout leader Wendy Cutler wrote that because of precautions regarding COVID-19, “all Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival 2020 community events that involve people getting together have been cancelled, and that includes the Tree Talks and Walks. This year, they will be Do-it-Yourself walks.”  You’ll be able to go on your own cherry blossom adventure guided by instructions and photos provided on our website.

If you want to experience cherry blossoms digitally, check out the Blooming Now page. All the photos come from public forum postings by our Cherry Scouts.  Wendy wrote, “We have had some stunning photos posted already – have a look at the threads at the top of that Neighbourhood Blogs forums page. Click the highest page number to see the recent postings.”

If you want to create your own cherry blossom viewing walk, Wendy suggests: “You can find the festival’s favourite locations on the Neighbourhood Map. The map opens with the favourites, defined as good photo-op locations.” They’re identified by red markers.

So, cherry blossom viewing is still happening in the city, just in a different format: either a do-it-yourself walk (taking care of maintaining social distancing) or a digital visit on our website or on social media.

Photos Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

The Big Picnic

The atmosphere was very festive for The Big Picnic at the Queen Elizabeth Park.  Hundreds of people gathered under cherry trees to enjoy a community picnic and watch musical performances while Akebono cherry petals quietly fell all around.


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Join us for more fun under cherry blossoms such as Bike the Blossoms and more activities featured on our community events page.

Photos Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Sakura Days Japan Fair

There was so much to experience at Sakura Days Japan Fair: performances on the cherry stage, activities in the Experience Japan and haiku tents, vendors kiosks, food stands and, of course, cherry blossoms!

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Join us for more cherry blossom fun — such as Bike the Blossoms, haiku workshop, cherry walk, Big Sing, and more. Details on our community events page.

Cherry Jam Photos Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Festival kicks off with concert under blossoms

The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival kicked off today with Cherry Jam, a noon-hour concert at downtown’s Burrard SkyTrain station featuring memorable performances.

After a word from the festival’s creative director Linda Poole, Zimbamoto took the stage with contemporary African music.


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Katari Taiko featured a battle of taiko drums.


Sporting pink socks, the newest member of the festival’s executive team presented the Ornamental Cherries in Vancouver and introduced the next performers, NoriNori. The duo performed an energetic rendition of Sakura Sakura on the shamisen and taiko.

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MNGWA surprised the audience by starting with a very lively adaptation of The Simpsons TV show.


On the concourse, vendors were providing information and tea samples.

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And, of course, the blossoms were there.  The green leaves had started to come out, which means the petals were falling gently on the crowd who was gathered to admire the blossoms.  This was a perfect beginning, considering the  the theme of this year’s festival is ‘Petal by Petal’.

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Check the festival’s community events page which list tons of activities to enjoy the blossoms such as a Big Picnic, Sakura Days Japan Fair, Bike the Blossoms, a haiku contest, and more!

Happy cherry blossom viewing!


Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

A Playground for Pandora

At Mount Pleasant park, you’ll find this adorable Pandora cherry tree. It has small blossoms with just a hint of pink at the tip of the petals.

Pandora cherry blossoms at Mount Pleasant Park in Vancouver Pandora cherry blossoms at Mount Pleasant Park in Vancouver

Did you know Pandora cherry blossoms don’t lose their petals? It’s the whole flower that falls to the ground. Check on the grass and you’ll see them.

Pandora cherry blossoms at Mount Pleasant Park in Vancouver

Mount Pleasant Park is located at 15th and Manitoba, but there are plenty more Pandora trees around the city. Use the neighbourhood map to find them.

(Tip: The four Pandora trees are looking spectacular behind the Brentwood Mall right now.)

Photos Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Spring Lights Illumination

It was a magical evening as Hfour illuminated Queen Elizabeth Park cherry trees for Spring Lights Illumination. Lights were projected on the canopy, lanterns were glowing, and giant mirror balls reflected the blossoms.

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Interpretative dancers performed under the lit up trees. A walkthrough experience allowed visitors to move from under the canopy to various pathways.

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The pathways lead you back to the canopy where you could enjoy more illuminations.

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Thank you for joining us.

Check the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival website to see more information about events and activities.

Arts & Crafts Haiku Merchandise Photos Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Sakura Days Japan Fair 2018

Sakura Days Japan Fair gave visitors a chance to experience Japan with hands-on workshops (calligraphy, origami, haiku) and amazing performances.  What a fabulous week-end!

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Several tree talks and walks were lead by Van Dusen garden volunteers. There were lots of cherry trees to talk about including the beautiful tai-haku (great white cherry).

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The winning haiku from the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational 2017 were displayed in the garden for everyone to read and enjoy.

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At the Haiku House, you could attend a workshop, try your hand at writing a haiku, make a button, or take a guided walk to the haiku rock.

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The food was a major draw.

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Outdoor demonstrations included the forging of Japanese knives by knifewear.


If you preferred to be inside, you could visit the vendors and pick up a petal mat or guide to Ornamental Cherries in Vancouver at the VCBF table.

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People gathered on the hill, sitting on petal mats, to watch the show on the cherry stage.


During her calligraphy demo,Kisyuu disappeared behind the canvas to paint the back of the canvas while the picture was slowly revealed to the audience at the front.


Hojo Hand-Crafted Samurai Armor Corps grabbed visitors’ attention as they walked to the stage to perform an elaborate play in full costumes.

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Two performers from Japan, Keita Kanazashi on the Japanese Drum and Kohei Honda on the shamisen, drew a big crowd with their amazing energy.

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Outdoor performances kept us dancing until 7 pm.

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The event ended with lantern procession from the Cherry Stage to the Visitor Centre.

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Sakura Days Japan Fair is two-day festival organized by the Japan Fair Association of Vancouver as part of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival. It took place at the Van Dusen Botanical Garden.

People who attended Saturday were able to walk over to Queen Elizabeth park to see the Sakura Illuminations.