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Vancouver’s Japanese Nikkei Matsuri Festival in Burnaby

Nikkei Matsuri

The Nikkei Matsuri is a Japanese festival at Burnaby‘s Nikkei Museum and Cultural Centre. It’s usually on the Labour Day weekend in September.

In 2023 the festival ran from September 1st to 3rd.

The actual festival happens on the Saturday and Sunday. On the Friday there is the Zenyasai Beer Garden. The pre-festival Nikkei Matsuri event on the Friday evening featured music, art and adult beverages.

For tickets and full details about the event, visit the Nikkei Matsuri website.


In this article you’ll find the following information about Nikkei Matsuri:

When is the Nikkei Matsuri? | Where is the Nikkei Matsuri? | Festival Admission | Nikkei Matsuri ActivitiesOther Information


Nikkei Matsuri Japanese Festival

“Matsuri” in Japanese means “festival” and the Nikkei Matsuri is indeed a traditional-style Japanese festival.

At the event there are tea ceremonies, numerous performances, a marketplace, food vendors and a variety of family-friendly activities. In years with good weather, as many as 14,000 people attend over the course of the weekend.


Nikkei Matsuri in Burnaby


When is the Nikkei Matsuri?

The Nikkei Matsuri normally takes place on the last couple days of the summer, just before kids return to school, so on the Labour Day long weekend.

In 2023 the event happened over three days instead of two, on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of September 1st to 3rd. The festival activities ran from 11:00 am until 7:00 pm on the Saturday and Sunday in 2023. On the Friday things started at 5:00 pm and finished at 10:00 pm.


Where is the Nikkei Matsuri?

The Nikkei Matsuri is held at the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre at 6688 Southoaks Crescent. The venue is a short drive west of Metrotown just off Kingsway in Burnaby.


Parking & Transportation

Guests can take public transit as the location is easily accessible.

Limited parking is available at the Nikkei Centre’s underground parkade for about $15 per day. Free parking in nearby neighbourhoods may also be available.


Nikkei Matsuri at Nikkei Centre
Nikkei Matsuri Outside the Nikkei Centre


Festival Admission

In 2023 admission to the festival was free for children under 18 years old and for seniors over the age of 64. However, paid tickets were required for adults between the ages of 18 and 64. Tickets cost $8 when purchased online in advance, or $10 at the door of the festival. Unlike in 2022, tickets this past year were valid for just one day of the festival.


For full details about the event, visit the Nikkei Matsuri website.


Nikkei Matsuri Activities

The Nikkei Matsuri is a Japanese community festival featuring a wide range of activities including live performances and a Game Zone, as well as a small marketplace, Food Truck Plaza and a Japanese used book sale.


Matsuri Performances

Entertainment at the Nikkei Matsuri on the Labour Day long weekend includes performances by various local singing and dance groups, Taiko drummers and other performers. Some performances are usually indoors and some are outside in the garden.


Matsuri Game Zone

Popular with children at the Nikkei Matsuri is the Game Zone, which includes a variety of simple midway-type games where you buy tokens to play and have the chance to win prizes. Game Zone activities in 2023 included ring toss, balloon darts, bean bag toss and other games that young kids could enjoy.


Miyake-kai Taiko Drummers
Miyake-kai Taiko Drummers at the Nikkei Matsuri


2023 Festival Performers

Highlights of the 2023 Nikkei Matsuri included the following activities and performances (with exact details subject to change).


On the Saturday (September 2nd, 2023)

  • 12:00 pm Opening Ceremonies
  • 12:30 pm Rakuichi Mikoshi Parade
  • 1:00 pmChibi Taiko Japanese Drums
  • 1:30 pm Satsuki-Kai Japanese Dance
  • 2:00 pmBushido
  • 2:30 pmEmber Night Idol Pop Group
  • 3:00 pmBon Odori With Satsuki-Kai
  • 3:30 pmKotonone-kai Japanese Harp
  • 4:00 pmWailele Wai Wai Hula Dance
  • 5:00 pmSamurai Artists Kamui
  • 5:30 pmAppare Yosakoi Japanese Dance
  • 6:00 pmVancouver Okinawa Taiko


On the Sunday (September 3rd, 2023)

  • 12:00 pm Samurai Artists Kamui
  • 12:30 pmRakuichi Mikoshi Parade
  • 1:00 pm Martial Arts Demonstrations
  • 3:00 pmBon Odori With Satsuki-Kai
  • 3:30 pmHitotose Japanese Sword Performance
  • 4:00 pmSouthern Wave Okinawan Music & Dance Society
  • 5:00 pmTalent Search
  • 5:30 pmPico & Chihiro


Visit nikkeimatsuri.nikkeiplace.org for the festival’s official website to learn about all the activities and performances.


Nikkei Matsuri


Other Information

For more information about the festival, see the Nikkei Matsuri website. To learn more about the venue and organization behind the event, see our article about the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre.

For a list of other events taking place in the Lower Mainland this month and at other times of the year, see Vancouver’s September Calendar or Festivals & Events Calendar.

Other articles that might be of interest include the following: