‘Japan Fair’ in Vancouver -More Visitors than last Year

 ’Sakura Days Japan Fair’ was held in cooperation with each of Japanese organizations and volunteers at VanDusen Botanical Garden (5251 Oak St.) in Vancouver on April 7th and 8th. This is the third year of the fair, and it is held in conjunction with ‘Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival,’ which has been held until April 28th.

 The fair introduces Japanese culture, food stall, and Japanese business in Canada with ‘cherry blossom’ as theme. Main venue this year is renovated Visitor Centre at VanDusen Botanical Garden, and the size was expanded. Weather conditions were very good during two days’ event. About 10,000 visitors came this year, which exceeded the number of 7,000 last year.

  12 food stalls, such as Japanese sake tasting, takoyaki (octopus dumpling), ramen, yakitori (grilled chicken), oden were set up. Shishimai (lion dance), drum, and traditional Japanese dance were performed. A lot of people gathered at 30 booths, where Japanese culture and business were introduced.

 A lot of queues were seen in front of all the food stalls on the first day as soon as the fair was opened. Local people tried ‘takoyaki’ as they seldom eat it in their daily life. A grilled chicken restaurant ‘Zakkushi’ had stall every year. executive chef Mr. Iwamoto He said, ‘We sold 7,000 pieces of yakitori for two days. It’s common in all the countries that charcoal grilled chicken tastes delicious. I want a lot of local people to know this taste. We’ll make ourselves more powerful and want to attend the fair next year.’

 In addition to Japanese style craft and Japanese business introduction booths, JETTA (JET Alumni Association) opened their booth. They introduced support project ‘Photohoku.’ In this project, photographers visited family who lost their photos and albums in 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. They took family photos, inserted the photos in the album, and gave it as a present. They asked to donate unnecessary cameras in order to add new photos in albums.

 Donation box were set by Japanese organizations in the venue. They raised donation from the visitors. Hukushima University disaster volunteer centre set tables outside which enabled them to write messages with photos of volunteer work. Paper which messages of support were written in was filled in warm words without any space.

 They consider donating a part of proceeds continuously as well last year.

(Translated by Hiroko Shioda)