Cherry Blossoms in Victoria BC

Virtual Hanami Celebration

In celebration of Asian Heritage Month, the VNCS will be holding a virtual event over Zoom:

Sunday, May 30, 2021

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM PDT

Recording of the Virtual Hanami Celebration


If you have anything you’d like to ask our presenters, send your questions to prior to or during the presentations. We will do our best to have them answered during the event.


Ikebana Lesson

Michiko Seguev– originally from Tokyo, she started to have a strong interest in Ikebana in her early childhood as she accompanied her mother to her (Mother’s) Ikebana lessons at Ohara School. Later on at her work in an advertising agency, her passion for Ikebana was rekindled when she had a chance to arrange flowers for work.  She resumed studying Ikebana under Sōraku at Sōgetsu School and obtained a teaching certificate. She has been teaching Ikebana since her arrival in Victoria and providing VNCS Ikebana classes for more than 15 years.


Sake Tasting

Shino Yamashiro – Shino is a sake specialist, certified as an International kikisake-shi by SSI (Sake Service Institute in Japan) and a menu developer at “E:ne raw food + sake bar”, where more than 50 selections of sake are served and is the very first “sake bar“ in Victoria. Shino was very much inspired and fell in love with the unique world of sake 4 years ago. Shino found that many local guests love wine and also have a great curiosity towards sake when she introduced them to all the breadth and complexity that sake has to offer. Introducing sake and making it more approachable to people became her passion. She wants to encourage people to enjoy sake “as is” or by pairing with varieties of food, not just Japanese food. Shino hopes that a sake menu becomes more and more popular at restaurants.


Shino will be sampling two types of sake during her presentation:

NigoriHakutsuru Sayuri (300ml, $9.49)

SparklingYoshi No Gawa Awayuki (300ml, 13.99)

Pick up one or both bottles ahead of time and taste along with her from the comfort of your home! Check for local availability using the “Where to buy” button in the BC Liquor Store links provided.


Support the Community

We encourage you to help support our community however you are able, perhaps by ordering take-out from your favourite local restaurants, making a donation to the VNCS, or simply attending as we celebrate Asian heritage and culture this May.

Cherry Blossom Festival at Art Gallery of Greater Victoria – March 18th

Cherry Blossom Festival at Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (AGGV)

This year’s Sakura: Cherry Blossom Festival will be hosted at AGGV as part of their Family Sunday.
Date: Sunday, March 18
Time: 1:00-4:00 PM
Location: Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (1040 Moss Street)
Admission by donation

All ages, everyone welcome! Join us for an afternoon of art making, performance and poetry!

A collaboration with the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society, City of Victoria and Haiku Arbutus. With support from Silk Road Tea, Jaga Silk and Ume Silk. Admission by donation for this special Family Sunday.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Please contact Yukari Peerless at if you can help at the Cherry Blossom Festival. Many hands make light work! We thank you in advance.

Hanami :: 花見 (Cherry Blossom Viewing)

In the past, the VNCS has organized a spring potluck lunch and cherry blossom (Sakura) viewing get together. There are many streets in Victoria where different types of cherry blossoms can be seen from early to late spring. Ann-Lee and Gordon Switzer are local sakura tree experts and Ann-Lee has prepared a guide (see below) to viewing sakura trees in Victoria. We are in her debt.

2010 VNCS Hanami PotluckKanzan Blossoms (2010 VNCS Hanami Potluck)

2010 VNCS Hanami PotluckYoshino Blossoms (2010 VNCS Hanami Potluck)

Cherry Blossom Tour in Victoria Succession of Bloom

Sakura Blossom

Compiled by Ann-Lee Switzer,
edited by Craig Mercer

The blooming time of ume and sakura varies from year to year, sometimes by two weeks. Also blooming times overlap, and windy weather can shorten the beauty. If the winter has been cold and extends into late February, wait a little while! This list is not exhaustive; There are other trees but these are the main ones.


Autumn Flowering Sakura (Prunus subhirtella ‘Autumnalis’)

There are four Autumn Flowering Sakura (Prunus subhirtella ‘Autumnalis’) on the sidewalk in front of the Crystal Gardens on Douglas street between Belleville and Burdett.

This small deciduous flowering tree originates in Japan, but is unknown in the wild. It is probably of hybrid origin between Prunus incisa and Prunus spachiana. It is widely grown for its propensity to flower during mild winter weather which makes it perfect for a city like Victoria.

Wada (Prunus wadai, Prunus pseudocerasus x Prunus subhirtella)

There are five Wada (Prunus wadai, Prunus pseudocerasus x Prunus subhirtella) Sakura trees (three on the law court side and 2 on the opposite side) on Blanshard St. between Burdett Ave. and Courtney St.

EARLY SEASON (late February to March) PLUMS

Lindsay Plum (Prunus cerasifera Lindsayiae)

There are lots of Lindsay (Ume) Plum (Prunus cerasifera Lindsayiae) on View St (the most spectacular between Blanshard & Cook). Very earliest of the blossom trees. Comes out anywhere from late Jan-early Feb. to mid Feb. or even March some years.

Pissard Plum (Prunus cerasifera atropurpurea)

Plum – pale pink small blossoms Clarence St. in James Bay is best example

Where can you view them?

Both Pissard and Nigra are very common on the city streets and private gardens. In James Bay: Ontario, Montreal, Quebec, Niagara, Croft and many others.

Nigra Plum (Prunus pissardi nigra)

Plum – dark purple-leaf, darker pink blossoms

Where can you view them?

Both Pissard and Nigra are very common on the city streets and private gardens. In James Bay: Ontario, Montreal, Quebec, Niagara, Croft and many others.

MID-SEASON (late March to April)

BEACON HILL PARK has many, many beautiful sakura and plum trees at this time: go enjoy!

Yoshino Cherry (Prunus × yedoensis)

Yoshino are the classic sakura, single, pale pink, and very prolific.


Where can you view them?

Most famous is South Turner Street in James Bay, but common throughout the city. Moss Street and Trutch Street have many old examples as does Heywood Avenue that borders Beacon Hill Park on the east side.

Other Yoshinos of note:

  • Quadra Street in front of YMCA (between Broughton and Courtney)
  • Begbie Street (east of Pandora), old trees and old homes
  • Pandora Avenue between Vancouver and Cook; Meares Street
  • The entire length of Moss Street (also later Kanzans)
  • The foot of Thurlow Road by Ross Bay Cemetery
  • Cambridge Street off Dallas Road
  • Vining Street off Chambers Street (west of Victoria High School) also old trees with old houses
  • Fairfield Road – Harbinger Avenue, Trutch Street, Collinson Street and Rupert Terrace.
  • Off Vancouver Street by Beacon Hill Park: Oliphant Avenue, Pendergast Street and Southgate Street.
  • James Bay neighbourhood has many examples of sakura and plums, with the highest concentration of heritage houses, it makes great viewing.
  • By the Victoria Clipper ferry terminal at the foot of Belleville Street are some rare old weeping sakura plus Yoshino in a nice grassy area just asking for a picnic!

Other Sakura: The darker pink ones can be Accolade (Prunus subhirtella ‘Accolade’), Atsumori or Double Pink Higan (Prunus subhirtella ‘Atsumori’) on Belleville Street, by the totem pole on the causeway side, pink (Prunus subhirtella ‘Whitcombi’) and 6 beauties (across Douglas) also on Belleville opposite the Crystal Gardens/Canadian Pacific Lawn Bowling Club. There are many other varieties too numerous to mention, singles or doubles, all beautiful!

LATE SEASON (mid-April)

Kanzan Cherry (Prunus serrulata)

‘Kwanzan, Sekiyama, Kansan’ – Flowers pink, double; young leaves bronze-coloured at first, becoming green.

Kanzan Cherry

Where can you view them?

Menzes Street &
Moss Street among others. These are the deep pink fully double “popcorn” type that scatter “pink snow” far and wide.

Mt. Fuji Cherry (Prunus serrulata)

‘Shirotae’ – Very low, broad crown with nearly horizontal branching; flowers pure white, semi-double.

Mt. Fuji Cherry

Where can you viem them?

In front of Hotel Grand Pacific

Wild Cherry (Prunus avium grandiflora)

Double-white or Gean – These big tall spreading trees have an unusual twisty kind of trunk. Fat clusters of white “popcorn” hang on long skinny branchlets. Few leaves spoil the view.

Wild Cherry

Where can you view them?

Opposite MacDonald Park, James bay, in front of the school in full bloom.

Ukon (Prunus serrulata)

Large semi-double clear to sulphur. Buds are slightly rosy, then when open greenish-white with pink edges; leaves orangy-green. Unusual!


Where can you viem them?

Oliphant Avenue, Vancouver Street to Cook Street

Amanogawa (Prunus serrulata)

Upright-growing, very-branchy, pale but bright pink double blossoms.


Where can you view them?

Quadra Village and other locations around city, they all seem to have been planted the same time.


White Goddess (Prunus serrulata)

Shirofugen’ – Flowers double, deep pink at first, fading to pale pink.

Possibly the latest blooming sakura ever!

Where can you viem them?

Irving Park in James Bay. 21 trees of were planted in 2002 by a group of visitors from Gifu, Japan. A plaque tells about it. Not in bloom till May, pinky-white doubles, bronzy leaves.



For more information on Hanami visit Wikipedia: