Japan Festival at VanDusen Garden
In 2020 the Sakura Days Japan Fair was going to occur on Saturday, April 18, from 10 am to 6 pm, and on Sunday, April 19, from 10 am to 5 pm. However, the event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event may or may not return in 2021 (but hopefully it will).
At the event each year there is traditional Japanese music, Japanese anime fans dressed in costume, flower arranging, flute making and calligraphy workshops. There is also lots of traditional Japanese fair food including okonomiyaki (a kind of savory cabbage pancake), takoyaki (fried octopus in dough) and other tasty treats.
If you plan to visit VanDusen Garden in the spring, during the Sakura Days Japan Fair is a good time to do it. The garden is still usually about a month away from its beautiful best, but the Japanese activities and entertainment are worth seeing.
Don’t expect lots of cherry blossoms at VanDusen garden this late in the spring – some years they are in bloom at this time and other years they aren’t. It’s a bit hit and miss. Flowers in general are starting to come out though and the place is beginning to look increasing spring-like.
Sakura Days Admission
The cost for the Sakura Days Japan Fair depends on whether you have a membership with VanDusen Garden and whether you buy your tickets at the door on the day or online in advance.
2019 prices including taxes and online fees were the following (with additional fees are 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 will likely be similar in future years.
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.
To give an idea of what to expect, below is the schedule of events for the Sakura Days Japan Fair in 2019. (Note: performers, times and other details were subject to change.)
Saturday, April 13, 2019
- 10:40 am – Dahaza / Bushido
- 11:30 am – NAV Chorus
- 12:00 pm – Opening Ceremony
- 12:20 pm – Vancouver Rakuichi Shishimai Lions Dance
- 12:35 pm – Otowa Ryu Japanese Dance Group
- 13:05 pm – Vancouver Eishin Ryu Iaido Club
- 13:55 pm – KiKi & Keita Kanazashi
- 14:55 pm – Sakura Singers
- 15:20 pm – Daikagura by Michiyo Kagami
- 15:55 pm – Koto Meets Violin
- 16:30 pm – Yoko Sonoda & Friends
- 17:00 pm – Go Taiko
- 17:30 pm – SDJF Ondo & Parade
Sunday, April 14, 2019
- 10:45 am – Shorinji Kempo
- 11:20 am – TomoeArts
- 12:00 pm – 50+
- 12:40 pm – Onibana Taiko
- 13:15 pm – Banana Bread
- 13:50 pm – Kisyuu & Nori – Japanese Calligraphy & Taiko Drumming
- 14:25 pm – KANATA
- 14:50 pm – Tenrikyo Joyous Stars
- 15:20 pm – KiKi &d Keita Kanazashi
- 16:15 pm – Toshiko Ezaki
- 16:40 pm – Vancouver Okinawa Taiko
Click Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival for other cherry tree-related events taking place in April.
For ideas on other things to do in the Lower Mainland, check out the following: