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All aboard Richmond Ships to Shore King of the Sea festival

kaiwo maru tall ship

How would you like to set foot on a 361-foot long, 182-foot high Japanese naval training vessel right here in Richmond?

Visitors will have an opportunity to do that next month when the massive four-masted, traditionally rigged Kaiwo Maru tall ship makes a rare west coast appearance as part of the Canada 150 celebrations.

“The Kaiwo Maru will be making her second voyage to Richmond since 2004, providing a rare opportunity to view this majestic ship,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “The Kaiwo Maru rarely leaves Japan and Richmond will be the only North American port of call on this visit. This special visit recognizes the strong cultural ties and long standing friendship between Richmond and Japan.”

Called the Ships to Shore King of the Sea festival, the event takes place Friday, May 5 to Sunday, May 7 in Steveston’s Garry Point Park. The public can board the vessel for free but require boarding passes obtained either online or on site (specific details to follow at On the Saturday, nearly 200 crew members will climb up high up the ship to let loose approximately 30,000 square feet of sail.

In addition to the complimentary boarding, there will headline concerts featuring Alan Doyle and his six-piece band the Beautiful Gypsies, as well as the dance-rock and Juno Award-winning duo Dear Rouge. Other family-friendly highlights include a selection of food trucks, a marketplace, hands-on activities, community art displays, a maritime-themed Kids Cove and a spectacular fireworks show over the Fraser River on the evening of May 6.

Hours of operation on Friday and Saturday are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

You can learn more about the Kaiwo Maru by visiting

By Benjamin Yong

April 05, 2017

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