10000 People in ‘Japan Fair’ －Soak in Cherry Trees in Full Bloom and Japanese Cultures
An annual spring event ‘Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival’ has kicked off and events are held at several areas of Vancouver from April 3rd to 28th. At VanDusen Botanical Garden （5251 Oak Street）, where several kinds of cherry blossoms and spring flowers are blooming, ‘Sakura Days Japan Fair’ was held on April 5th and 6th, planned and organized by Japan Fair Association of Vancouver mainly consisted of Japanese companies and volunteers. A lot of people enjoyed the Fair.
People had real experience and enjoyed Japanese cultures at the venue: performances of Taiko, Koto （Japanese harp） and Shakuhachi （bamboo flute）, Anime Revolution Cosplay Show, Haiku Workshop, Urasenke Tea Ceremony, Bonsai Display, Ikebana Seminars and Origami. A lot of people were in long queues at stalls to enjoy authentic Japanese taste: Yakitori, Okonomiyaki, Takoyaki, Ramen and Gyoza. On the second day in a clear sky, the Fair was in a great success as food was sold out at some stalls before the events were over. About 10,000 people visited the Fair on both days.
Especially, a first trial corner ‘Japanese Sake Seminar’ was very popular although the registration fee was CAD 10. The ticket for 20 people and two sessions were sold out immediately. The Seminar was the first event of tasting including lectures of Japanese sake by Sake Association of British Columbia established last October. Three sake sommeliers, Miki Ellis, Elise Gee and Iori Kataoka talked about ‘Japanese sake brewing,’ ‘Types of Japanese sake’ and ‘right way of tasting’ for about one hour and provided participants with 5 kinds of Japanese sake including locally brewed sake.
Nichola Lee, who lives in Vancouver and participated in the Seminar taking notes carefully, said with a smile, ‘I found from today’s seminar that cool Japanese sake is also tasty as I have had Atsukan （hot Japanese sake） only so far. This was the first time to know Nigori sake （cloudy sake）. I got to know tasty Japanese sake made in Canada and learned a lot. I want to have several opportunities to enjoy Japanese sake from now on’
This is the fifth time to have the event. Elizabeth Stephen from Public Relation talked about future plans, ‘We want to expand the scales of the event more, have rich contents and introduce Japan to more people.’
（Translated by Hiroko Shioda）