Vancouver Turns Pink During the 2024 Cherry Blossom Festival

Cherry blossoms at False Creek.

Spring-time cherry blossoms on the False Creek Seawall. Photo: Destination Vancouver/Nina Vis

Vancouver is home to over 40,000 cherry trees. There are so many that Lonely Planet named Vancouver one of the 7 best places to see cherry blossoms in 2024. Celebrate with community events, Japanese culture and more at the 2024 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival from March 29 to April 25.

Each year visitors and locals come together to admire the pink and white flowers, inspired by the Japanese tradition of hanami, which means flower viewing. Here are six ways to enjoy Vancouver’s cherry blossoms this year.

 

Sakura Days (April 13 and 14)

The highlight of the Cherry Blossom Festival is the Sakura Days event at VanDusen Botanical Garden on April 13 and 14. Immerse yourself in Japanese culture with live music, performances, art, and games. You can also sample Japanese food and drink or participate in a traditional tea ceremony. Buy tickets in advance.

People at the Sakura Days event at the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Sakura Days. Photo: Glanell Campos/Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

 

Lunchtime Pop-Up Events (April 2 and 6)

New this year, the Cherry Blossom Festival will be hosting pop-up events in downtown Vancouver. The Burrard Station Pop-Up runs from 11 am to 2 pm on April 2 and the West End Pop-Up is on from 11 am to 3 pm on April 6. Each event includes live music, art installations, and of course, cherry blossom viewing.

Cherry Blossoms at Art Phillips Park/Burrard Skytrain Station in Vancouver

Cherry blossoms at Art Phillips Park/Burrard Station. Photo: Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival/Jessical Tremblay

 

Haiku Invitational (March 1 to June 1)

A long-standing part of the Cherry Blossom Festival is the Haiku Invitational. This traditional Japanese style of short poetry requires writers to carefully count syllables to adhere to a 5-7-5 pattern. Each year participants from around the world submit their haikus for honours in six categories: Vancouver, British Columbia, United States, International, and Youth.

The winning haikus are given to local Indigenous and Japanese-Canadian artists to inspire them to produce visual art as part of the Haiku Exhibition. You can see this year’s exhibition at the Museum of Vancouver from April 2 to 11 and at Sakura Days at VanDusen Botanical Garden on April 13 and 14.

Art from the 2023 Haiku Exhibition at the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Art from the 2023 Haiku Exhibition. Photo: Al Lau/Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

 

Tree Talks and Walks (Various Dates)

You can register for free local expert-led tours of the blossoms in neighbourhoods around Vancouver as part of Tree Talks and Walks. Tip: Sign up fast since these walks fill up. You can also follow one of six virtual walks to see photos and videos of the blooms from previous years.

Cherry blossoms at Queen Elizabeth Park

Cherry blossoms at Queen Elizabeth Park. Photo: Destination Vancouver/Jason Lee Wang

 

DIY Cherry Blossom Explorations

Each year the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival updates an interactive blossom map. It includes over 2500 locations and has notes about which cultivars you can find. You can search by address to find flowers near you or sort by neighbourhood or blooming date. Grab your camera and a picnic blanket, then head out to sit under the pink canopy of blossoms.

Map showing 2024 cherry blossom locations in Vancouver

Map via Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

 

Cherry Blossom Bike Routes

If you want to visit several blossom locations back-to-back, check out our guide to cherry blossom cycling routes in Vancouver. It has four easy bike route options that will take you through tunnels of gorgeous pink flowers. We also have recommendations for where to stop for snacks or a picnic along the way.

A woman walks her bike underneath cherry blossoms.

Photo: Destination Vancouver/Jason Lee Wang

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