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.

Haiku Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Haiku activities at Leith Wheeler Haiku House during Sakura Days Japan Fair

There were lots of haiku activities at the Leith Wheeler Haiku House during Sakura Days Japan Fair: haiku workshop, haiku rocks, haiku weathergrams, bookmaking, haikuseum. We had lots of fun getting people inspired to write haiku for the upcoming Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational.

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Meanwhile, visitors in the garden were able to read haiku on bamboo sticks and haiku written in chalk (thanks to Michael Dylan Welch for this great project installation!)

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If you missed the haiku workshop and the bookmaking workshop at Sakura Days Japan Fair, you’ll have a second chance. There will be a haiku workshop followed by a bookmaking workshop at the Kerrisdale Community Centre Picnic on Sunday April 26/15.

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Arts & Crafts Haiku Photos

White Blossoms, Pink Blossoms (by Julie Emerson)

Julie Emerson tells us how she got inspired to write her haiku “a crow’s nest” which won Best B.C. poem at the 2013 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational:


“When you walk around Kits Beach Park, you can see the Oshima cherry trees with the lovely white blossoms. There are also various types of gulls, ducks, grebes, and occasionally an eagle from the huge nest nearby or a Great Blue heron from the Stanley Park Heronry. But it is the crow who will accompany you on your beachwalk, who will examine and finish your sandwich. The crow is the noisiest and nosiest bird around. The contrast between the sturdy black crow and the silky white blossoms of a cherry tree is striking.

In March, the trees have not leafed out, and you can see the birds and their nests clearly. Trees offer some building materials for the birds’ nests and the sites, and the cherry trees in particular also produce blossoms. March is a windy month, and you often see a crow perched in a tree, swaying in the wind. (Did you know that the full moon in March is traditionally called the Crow Moon?)

When I wrote my haiku in 2013, I was appreciating these natural phenomena of early spring, and I was enchanted by the white cherry blossoms and the birds.

* * *

An original oil pastel copyright Julie Emerson -
An original oil pastel copyright Julie Emerson –


When, another year, I decided to create an oil pastel image of cherry blossoms every day of the season, I was inspired by only pink blossoms. I saw them as Sakura in the City. I liked the contrast of the pink blossoms in the urban landscape. Blossoms fall not only on grass but also on cement and stones and gratings, on bricks and bicycle racks, on windshields and newspaper boxes.

* * *

It’s a pleasure to experience cherry blossom season in a creative way. When I write a haiku, I am drawn to the ephemeral pure white blossoms; when I paint, I want to capture the tender pastel pink blossoms.”


a crow’s nest –

the wind drops

white blossoms

Julie Emerson

(2013 Winning Haiku, Best of B.C.)





finally Spring (haiku by Kristjaan Panneman)


Akebono cherry petals on Georgia street in Burnaby

“I have a very old Sakura in my backyard and that Sakura inspires me every day again.”


finally Spring

the old Sakura in the backyard

in full bloom

– Kristjaan Panneman

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational 2013 honorable mention


earth day (haiku by Donna Fleischer)



“This poem came alive where it began in March of 2012 at the desk where I sometimes write. It was an accretion of sounds, feeling, imagination, random waves, memory, and thoughts from extensive readings in poetry, ecology, permaculture, and ecopoetics, that would, en masse, take almost a full year to resolve.

Those sounds are chiefly two: that distinct sound of warmer air newly mixing with the deaf, cold winter air arriving through bird calls which grow increasingly clearer, nearer as Spring [sic] is icumen in; and the sounds of bells — of the smallish, more intimate- sounding porcelain bells clustered like grapes in a tower; of metal bells, like brass, ringing ever outward — Spring’s own periodic table.

There was also a very fine color photograph that has stayed with me of a cherry tree overcrowded with flowers and young green pinnate leaves, and taken near the top of the tree and from beneath it as if the camera stood up in a treehouse among the boughs.”

earth day

the knell

of cherry blossoms

– Donna Fleischer

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational 2013


cherry blossom (haiku by Andre Surridge)

Autumn Cherry Tree by Tremblay


“The inspiration for this haiku came from the cherry tree that blossoms right outside our lounge window here in Hamilton, New Zealand. All the blossoms have gone now and the leaves are starting to change colour as the mist begins to lift this autumn morning.”

cherry blossom

the shape

of their kiss

– Andre Surridge

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational 2013


morning jog (haiku by Tom Painting)


Kanzan cherry blossoms fallen petals


“It was one of those wonderful spring mornings with sunshine and a warming breeze. A puff of wind swirled the cherry blossoms on the path and caused many of them still on the tree to break free in a serpentine cascade of color. At that moment I realized that I was having one of those special runs where each step was effortless. I felt light on my feet and immensely happy breathing.”

morning jog

cherry blossoms

shape the wind

— Tom Painting

 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational 2013 honorable mention


alzheimer (haiku by Minh-Triết Phạm)




“Ever since my childhood, I have always been fascinated by the cherry blossoms, whether in Vietnam, my native land, or in France, where I live and work, or elsewhere. On a beautiful early spring day, in a park in the center of Paris, among the crowds, noise and cherry trees, I paused to contemplate that hanami spectacle at the indifference of passersby.

An old femal beggar came close to me and started a conversation. And I realized that in her very incoherent speech on all matters of the world, she explained to me in great detail every variety of cherry trees that she knew…

All at once I composed this modest haiku in tribute to that special moment of our exchange:

alzheimer —

she hasn’t forgotten

the cherry blossoms “

Minh-Triết Phạm

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational 2013


just for today (haiku by Hansha Teki)

Akebono Burrard skytrain station in bloom March 31 2013
“Aotearoa/New Zealand was the last significant land mass on earth to be inhabited by the human species having, until a mere 800 years ago, been home only to vast rain forests of evergreen trees and unique native bird and insect life.  The seasonal markers of cherry blossoms and falling leaves were introduced gradually by the generations of settlers pining for the old familiar markers of what they had left to become strangers in a strange land.
In meditating upon the theme of cherry blossoms blossoming in a distant city in a season far away from my autumn, I felt the isolation that my forebears must have felt yet also the ephemerality of all the illusions of comfort, ownership and permanence that we surround ourselves with.
In the act of writing the poem, I find my at-one-ness with cherry blossoms in a spirit of estrangement and non-attachment.”
just for today
the blossom that was
never mine
 — Hansha Teki
Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational 2013
Haiku Photos

family picnic (haiku by Nan Dozier)


“At the time of entering the contest, I had just completed a renga with some friends, and we had tried very hard to maintain a connection with Japanese culture as we wrote. My head was full of lovely images of Japanese life and manners, and yet with a sense of how difficult it is to preserve beautiful impressions. So, my poem celebrates the traditions of family, while understanding that even the things that are the same from year to year are not the same.”

family picnic

under the cherry tree

one more than last year

Nan Dozier

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational 2013