Photos from the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

It's cherry blossom season in Vancouver, and that means pink blossoms everywhere. 桜並木は綺麗です!

Vancouver cherry blossoms(バンクーバーのさくら)

Vancouver cherry blossom safari

I missed the beginning of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival because I was too busy Instagramming cherry blossoms.

It's the perfect week to bask in the beauty of Vancouver's otherworldly cherry blossom trees. You may have spotted a few cherry blossoms on your way to work or school, bud did you know that Vancouver has thousands of them?

Sometimes the cherry blossoms are all by themselves; other times they stand in rows, like a very, very slowly moving parade.

Here's a handy map of Vancouver's main clusters of cherry blossoms, though you'll find the trees, alone and in smaller groups, everywhere you go.

Cherry blossoms don't always bloom according to our schedules, which is why it's good to have a month-long cherry blossom festival.

(In Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, the trees would routinely bloom a week before or after the scheduled festivities.)

You have a good few weeks of stunning beauty before, like snow, the blossoms go from weightless white above to mushy brown underfoot.

Say it in Japanese

I bet you already know the Japanese word for "cherry blossom", even if you don't yet realize it. The word is さくら, pronounced "sakura". You've seen that word in the name of a Japanese restaurant or cafe, right? Sort of like how every coastal tourist destination has a whale-watching outfit called "Prince of Whales".

Let the celebration begin!

The VCBF got off to a banging start, courtesy of Tetsu Taiko, a Richmond-based youth taiko drumming group.

Tetsu Taiko drummer

If you've never heard taiko drumming, you're missing out. The resonant, haunting sound will alter your heart rhythm all on its own, and mixes well with other forms of music, too: During a 2012 concert in Brooklyn, the taiko in Arturo O'Farrill's Afro-Jazz Orchestra was instantly noticeable to my ears.

Real Trees

An organizer for the event told me to "clear out", since I was photographing from an off-limits area. Fine. I made my way out of the atrium and up among the cherry blossoms, the guests of honour.

Sakura Vancouver

I was not alone. Despite the light rain, Vancouverites and tourists alike took time out to photograph the delicate pink blossoms. And each other. And themselves.

Sakura photo, sakura portrait, sakura selfie

More Vancouver cherry blossom photos

I've spent a lot of time cooped up at City Hall lately, but y'all don't have to go through that. That means more cherry blossom pics for the rest of us to enjoy.

If you have some choice cherry blossom shots, you are welcome to share them with us on Twitter or Facebook.

Here's a gorgeous shot from architect Shabbar Reza, from out in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Photographer Toto Roro brings a beautiful macro shot...

... while real estate agent Kellyn Butt looks up:

Check out this sakura-crow:

バンクーバーのさくらはきれいですね。

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