The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival‘s Sakura Days Japan Fair showcases Japanese food and cultural activities at VanDusen Botanical Garden in April.
In 2023 the cherry blossom festival runs from April 1st until April 22nd. The Sakura Days Japan Fair, meanwhile, happens on the weekend of April 15th and 16th.
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 fair returned as an in-person event on April 9th and 10th in 2022.
In 2023 the Sakura Days Japan Fair takes place on the Saturday and Sunday of April 15th and 16th.
At the event there is traditional Japanese music and live performances, as well as a tea ceremony, woodworking demonstrations and more. There is also usually 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.
In 2023 admission prices to the event when purchased online are the following:
- Adults: $18.60
- Seniors (ages 65+): $14.40
- Youth (ages 13-18): $14.40
- Children: (ages 5-12): $6.60
- Little Kids: (ages 0-4): Free
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.
2023 Event Schedule
In 2023 the Sakura Days Japan Fair runs on the Saturday and Sunday of April 15th and 16th. The event runs from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm on the Saturday, and from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm on the Sunday. Below is the entertainment schedule for both days.
Saturday, April 15th, 2023
- 11:00 am – Bushido
- 11:30 am – Music on the Plaza by AYASEN
- 11:35 am – Vancouver Iaido Club
- 12:05 pm – Opening Ceremony: Speeches and Kagamiwari
- 12:15 pm – Music on the Plaza by KRUnited
- 12:30 pm – Vancouver Mikoshi RAKUICHI
- 13:00 pm – Otowa Ryu Dance
- 13:00 pm – Music on the Plaza by Bamboo-In Shakuhachi Group
- 14:00 pm – KIKI with Kieta Kanazashi
- 14:00 pm – Music on the Plaza by AYASEN
- 14:50 pm – BOYiSH7
- 15:00 pm – Music on the Plaza by KRUnited
- 15:20 pm – Go Taiko
- 15:50 pm – Sakura Singers
- 16:20 pm – APPARE Yosakoi
- 16:40 pm – Non Sweet
- 17:15 pm – SDJF Ondo Parade
For the full schedule of workshops and activities click vcbf.ca.
Sunday, April 16th, 2023
- 11:00 am – Jpgakuen
- 11:20 am – Tomoe Arts
- 12:00 pm – Shorinji Kempo
- 12:40 pm – Southern Wave Okinawan Music & Dance
- 13:10 pm – Kisyuu Japanese Calligrapher
- 14:00 pm – KIKI with Kieta Kanazashi
- 14:50 pm – Tenrikyo Joyous Stars
- 15:10 pm – Cosei
- 15:40 pm – Non sweet
- 16:15 pm – Vancouver Okinawa Taiko
Visit vcbf.ca for details about other workshops and activities.
Click Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival for other cherry tree-related events taking place in April (including the Big Picnic and Bike the Blossoms).
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)