It’s springtime in Vancouver!! What better way to celebrate than by taking more interesting cycle-routes home from work, to see some of Vancouver’s cherry blossoms. I am used to the amazing cherry blossoms in Nara, Japan (especially in Yoshino.) Back in Japan, and in the UK, the best blossoms are normally found within parkland areas. What I found amazing about Vancouver’s cherry blossoms is that you can find them on residential streets. In Vancouver they have chosen one type of tree to line each street. This means that all the trees on any particular street bloom at the same time. It is not quite as good for hanami (cherry blossom viewing parties) as you’d be right next to roads BUT it is fantastic for cycling around to see the prettiness!
First Sakura of 2018
The first cherry blossoms I saw this year were down by English Bay, on the edge of False Creek. There were only a couple of trees in bloom, but they were a really pretty shade of pink.
If you fancy a super easy cycle ride, you can amble around Stanley Park. There are a few of Vancouver’s cherry blossoms around Stanley park, but the real reason to explore this area on a bike is that it is just so pretty! My favourite spot is near Siwash Rock, about two thirds of the way around on a bike.
Vancouver’s cherry blossoms – Coal Harbour
Once you’ve cycled around Stanley park, there are some more gorgeous cherry blossoms in coal harbour, close to Cadero park. I love the way you can see all the tall buildings of downtown Vancouver through the blossoms.
More Blossoms – Ontario Street
When I feel like some extra exercise on the way home from work, I take a longer route home, past Queen Elizabeth Park and down the cycle path on Ontario street. At the moment this street is covered in magnolia flowers. At least I *think* they are magnolias! They look different to the trees I am used to in London! Anyway, the very best view is right in the middle of the street, so I didn’t take many photos. But isn’t this gorgeous!? I love the look of these trees just as much as all the cherry blossoms!
Sakura Days Japan Fair and VanDusen Botanical Garden
Another place on my longer-than-normal cycle route home is the VanDusen Botanical Garden. Each year they hold a Sakura Days Japan Fair to show off Vancouver’s cherry blossoms. I volunteered to help out during the festival (I used to live in Japan as part of the JET programme, so I was on a booth promoting that programme.) Unfortunately there aren’t a huge number of cherry blossom trees inside the garden, but there were some other sunning trees full of flowers, so I took some photos to share with you all.
Even if the VanDusen Botanical Garden didn’t have a huge number of cherry blossoms, there were still quite a few pretty flowers in bloom, so I had a good explore after helping at the Sakura Days event.
There is even a maze! It doesn’t take very long to find your way around it, and it is fun to try!
I also wandered past a Japanese rock garden as well as a pretty waterfall.
I even found a teeny bamboo grove. This has nothing on the epic bamboo grove in Arashiyama, to the West of Kyoto, but it was stll nice to see it!
Heading home via more of Vancouver’s cherry blossoms
These last blossoms were along the edge of the 29th Avenue cycle lane. There was a really gorgeous pink magnolia tree right next to a cherry blossom tree in full bloom. Gorgeous. eh!?
My bike’s spring makeover:
I am not sure if I mentioned this on my blog, but after I first bought my bike, I decorated the edges of my bike basket with autumnal leaves and flowers. I then cycled around Vancouver looking at all the gorgeous autumnal leaves. The flowers held up pretty well through the winter, but a few of them had fallen off. This week I added a whole bunch of springy flowers. It makes me look a little daft, but I love them anyway! What do you think?
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