Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the festival offered virtual activities in 2021. The fair returned with in-person events, however, on April 9th and 10th in 2022. Dates for the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival as a whole this year are April 1st to 28th.
Japan Festival at VanDusen Garden
In 2020 the Sakura Days Japan Fair was going to occur on April 18th and 19th. However, the event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. 2021 events happened online. The Sakura Days Japan Fair was back again as a live event on the Saturday and Sunday of April 9th and 10th in 2022.
At the event each year there is traditional Japanese music, Japanese anime fans dressed in costume, and flower arranging, flute making and calligraphy workshops. There is also lots of traditional Japanese festival-style food including okonomiyaki (a kind of savory cabbage pancake), yakisoba (fried noodles) and other tasty treats.
If you plan to visit VanDusen Garden in the spring, during the Sakura Days Japan Fair is a great time to do it. The garden is still usually about a month away from its beautiful best, but the Japanese activities and entertainment are definitely worth seeing. And when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, the place is very pretty.
It’s hard to predict when the cherry blossoms will be at their peak at VanDusen garden. Some years they are fully in bloom during the Sakura Days Japan Fair and other years they aren’t. It’s a bit hit and miss and depends on the weather each season. In 2022, however, the pink colours were amazing!
Sakura Days Admission
The cost for the Sakura Days Japan Fair depends on whether you have a membership with VanDusen Garden and if you buy your tickets at the door on the day or online in advance.
In 2022 admission prices to the event when purchased online in advance were the following:
- Adults: $17.83
- Seniors (ages 65+): $13.94
- Youth (ages 13-18): $13.94
- Children: (ages 4-12): $6.75
- Little Kids: (ages 0-3): $6.75
For comparison, 2019 prices including taxes and online fees were the following (with additional fees applied to online purchases):
- Adults: $12 in advance and $14 on the day
- Seniors (ages 65+): $9.50 in advance and $11 on the day
- Youth (ages 13-18): $9.50 in advance and $11 on the day
- Children (ages 3-12): $4.25 in advance and $5 on the day
Children ages 2 and under were free in 2019. Members of VanDusen Garden paying at the door also got an additional discount.
Prices for the Sakura Days event are not a lot more than regular admission at VanDusen Garden, so it’s not unreasonable, especially if you like Japanese culture.
Note: Admission rates and other details are subject to change.
2022 Event Schedule
In 2022 the Sakura Days Japan Fair ran from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm on the Saturday and Sunday of April 9th and 10th.
Below was the schedule of events for the two days in 2022. (Note: Performers, times and other details were subject to change.)
Saturday, April 9th, 2022
- 11:00 am – Otowa Ryu Japanese Dance Group
- 11:30 am – Void Dragon Zen
- 12:00 pm – Opening Ceremony: Speeches and Kagamiwari
- 13:00 pm – GO Taiko
- 14:00 pm – Vancouver Eishin Ryu Iaido Club
- 15:00 pm – Ko from Banana Bread
- 16:00 pm – Non Sweet
- 16:40 pm – Vancouver Okinawa Taiko
There were other activities and things to see on the Saturday including tea ceremony demonstrations at 12:30 and 2:30 pm.
Sunday, April 10th, 2022
- 11:00 am – Shorinji Kempo
- 12:00 pm – Southern Wave Okinawan Music & Dance Society
- 12:30 pm – Sakura Singers
- 13:00 pm – Bamboo-In
- 13:25 pm – BOYiSH7
- 14:00 pm – TomoeArts
- 14:30 pm – Kisyuu Japanese Calligrapher
- 15:00 pm – Ko Vocal Studio: Let’s Sing in Japanese!
- 16:00 pm – Non Sweet
There were other activities and things to see on the Sunday including tea ceremony demonstrations at 1:00 and 2:45 pm.
Click Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival for other cherry tree-related events taking place in April.
For the festival’s official website, visit vcbf.ca.
For ideas on other things to do in the Lower Mainland, check out the following:
- Vancouver’s April Calendar
- Free Vancouver Events in April
- Festivals & Events Calendar
- Vancouver’s Top Attractions
- Spring Activities in Vancouver
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Powell Street Japanese Fair
- Nikkei Matsuri (a Japanese festival in late summer)
- Nikkei Museum and Cultural Centre
- VanDusen Botanical Garden
- Nitobe Japanese Memorial Garden
- Vancouver’s ExplorASIAN Festival (in May)