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Revel in Japanese culture at O-Hanami Festival in Burnaby

Head to Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre on April 1 to enjoy live music, Japanese foods, Samurai swordfighting and more.
Experience Japanese Culture under the cherry blossoms at Nikkei Centre on April 1.

It's the time of year to take a stroll under a canopy of pink.

As spring approaches and cherry trees bloom around Metro Vancouver, Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre will host its annual O-Hanami Festival for folks to enjoy a day celebrating Japanese culture under the cherry blossoms.

The festival, featuring live music, dance performances and a samurai swordfighting show, will take place on Saturday, April 1 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre at 6688 Southoaks Cres. in Burnaby.

According to the Nikkei centre’s website, this is the first time the centre has presented a live samurai swordfighting show. This “rare live action” show will be led by Japanese actors Yuki Kedoin and Haruno Niiyama along with their students from Tozenji, Coquitlam.

There will also be an opportunity for people to immerse themselves in Japanese cultural activities such as a tea ceremony and kimono dressing. Resident martial arts groups are slated to demonstrate karate and judo, and visitors can prepare to be enchanted by a magic show for all ages.

You can also enjoy shopping and a variety of Japanese street foods, which will be available at the festival. Or enjoy live music and performances while savouring a special spring-themed lunch box — a sakura-bento.

Advance bookings are required for tea ceremony (sold out on Eventbrite, but the website states some door tickets might be available), kimono dressing, and the Sakura Bento (pre-orders are closed as of the date of this publication).

The doors will open to guests at 10:30 a.m. and the cost of admission is $5. For members, children, youth under 17 years and seniors over 65, the admission is free.

For more information about the festival and schedule of performances, visit their website or contact them at 604-777-7000.