Japan in Vancouver

Photo by Major J.S. Matthews from the City of Vancouver Archives website

Photo by Major J.S. Matthews from the City of Vancouver Archives website

With eyes gazing up towards the azure sky, you sink your feet deep into the grass as a fine film of pink petals cascade over you like a delicate Japanese blanket. With nearly 40,000 cherry trees throughout the city, Vancouver transforms into a rose-coloured wonderland as a full spectrum of pink blossoms emerge from their wintery slumber. Further to this, a taste of Japan can also be found in an impressive selection of dining venues, cultural events and annual festivals that simutaneously serve as both transportive experiences while also paying tribute to a culture that helped to shape the city.

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Japan in Vancouver

Blossoms, Culture & Great Eats at Sakura Days Japan Fair – April 6-7

VanDusen's blossoms. Photo credit: Konstantin Egorov

VanDusen’s blossoms. Photo credit: Konstantin Egorov

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival is underway. One of the most interesting and tasty festival events is Sakura Days Japan Fair at VanDusen Botanical Garden (5151 Oat Street) Saturday, April 6 and Sunday, April 7.

Sakura means blossom in Japanese. The venue, VanDusen, is a gorgeous spot for doing some “hanami” (blossom viewing). The family-friendly Sakura Days event line-up offers many opportunities to learn more about Vancouver’s Japanese cultural heritage. There will be all sorts of fun activities including origami, bonsai tree demos, martial arts demos, ikebana (flower-arranging classes), singing, taiko drumming and kimono 101.

On the food front, attendees get to watch a traditional tea ceremony and get involved with sake/Japanese beer tastings. The food vendor area has a ton of tempting Japanese eats including ramen, yakisoba, chirashizushi, takoyaki (incredibly popular octopus scallion pancake balls), red bean paste sweets, waffles and street eats by Mogu food truck and Japadog. Continue reading:
Blossoms, Culture & Great Eats at Sakura Days Japan Fair – April 6-7

Eat Your Way Through the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, April 4 -30

Takoyaki - savory octopus scallion balls - at Sakura Days Japan Fair. Photo credit: MartialArtsNomad.com

Takoyaki – savory octopus scallion balls – at Sakura Days Japan Fair. Photo credit: MartialArtsNomad.com

There’s a Japanese proverb “hana yori dango” that translates as “dumplings rather than flowers,” meaning people are more interested in food than blossoms during sakura festivals. Given the all star line-up of food events at Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival 2013, taking place April 4-30, you may feel the same way, even though the blossoms sure are pretty.

From Sakura Westcoast Afternoon Tea Service to Cherry Jam SakuraB bento boxes, ramen, chirashizushi and enticing Japanese street eats by Mogu and Japadog, here are the top food events at Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival 2013. Continue reading:
Eat Your Way Through the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, April 4 -30

Pretty in Pink: Celebrating Vancouver’s Sakura

Cherry Blossoms In Vancouver


The following article was submitted by Lena White, passionate Vancouverite.

Spring time in Vancouver is a joyous spectacle of cotton candy cherry trees that toss the city with pink confetti! The Vancouver Park Board has planted and maintains over 19,000 flowering cherry trees in the city. There is a great diversity of species, each with its subtly unique blossoms, colours, and fragrances. While there are dozens of varieties in Vancouver, I’ll tell you about the three most commonly planted.

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Pretty in Pink: Celebrating Vancouver’s Sakura