The annual VNCS Japanese Cultural Fair

Thank You 2023 Japanese Cultural Fair Volunteers, Sponsors and Donors!

A big thank you to all the volunteers and sponsors/donors that made this year’s Japanese Cultural Fair a big success! We just could not do it without YOU! お疲れ様でした!And to all you who made it out to the festival we hope you enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed putting it on!



An event like the VNCS Japanese Cultural Fair is only possible when many people work together. Here the VNCS would like to express a big thank you to our Volunteers, Sponsors and Donors. ARIGATOU!

We encourage all those who attended the fair to frequent our sponsors below.


Proudly Sponsored By:

Exclusive Media Sponsors

PLATINUM Level Sponsors

Bento Sushi
Fudo Japanese Restaurant
Fujiya Japanese Foods
Janice Nakamura
Monday Magazine
Robin Hood Inn & Suites
Sakura Sushi and Grocery
Standard Furniture
Township of Esquimalt
Victoria News

GOLD Level Sponsors

Chieri Uegaki
Jim Pattison Auto Group
Keiko Hicks
La-Z-Boy Home Furnishings & Decor
Peter Jarvis
Sheryl Taylor Munro
Sushi Rice Studios
Sushi Story
Think Communications Inc.

SILVER Level Sponsors

Ardmore Golf Course
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
Barbara Gilbert
Blenkinsop Driving Range
Camilla Schuett
Campus Auto Group (Acura, Honda, Infiniti, Nissan)
Carlton Plaza Hotel, Best Western
Craig & Kana Mercer
Curtis Cross (Assante Wealth Management)
Elements Casino Victoria
E:ne Raw Food + Sake Bar
Fairway Market
Ghost Ramen
Jayne Takahashi
Joanne Rollins
KODO collection
Koto Sushi Izakaya
Lisa Nakamura
Mark Compton
Marlene Howell
Nessa Herman
Nicholas Randall
Pacific Mazda
Patti Kagawa
Pendray Tea House
Pharmasave Oak Bay
Ramen Arashi
Rebecca Barnard
Royal BC Museum
Ruffell & Brown
Sawyer Sewing Centre
ScanDesigns Furniture
Sen Zushi Japanese Restaurant
Silk Road Tea
Starbucks Coffee (Hillside Mall)
Tomoko Okada
Yuriko Takane

BRONZE Level Sponsors

Alexander’s Coffee Bar
Bao Restaurant
Butchart Gardens
Butterfly Gardens
Cameron Barnard
Cozy Koji
Deb Shepherd
Discovery Cofee/Yonni’s donuts
Dumpling Drop
Ecotopia Naturals
Goodside Pastry House
Hey Happy Coffee
Hide + Seek Coffee
Gardens at Horticulture Centre of the Pacific (HCP)
Ivy’s Bookshop
Janice Nakamura
Japanese Village Restaurant
Jo Caragata
Joanne Nakamura
Joyce Matzke
Keiko Saunders
Kendra Savich
KOME KOME (Rice Crackers)
Kuma Noodle
Level Ground Coffee & Tasting Room
Lily Jer Nakamura
Linda Bartz
Lorrainne Nygaard
Lynn Thomson
Maureen Bird
Melinda’s Biscotti & Bistro
Munro’s books
Murchie’s Tea and Coffee
My Thai Cafe
Ono Poké
Pacific Shiatsu
Politano Café
Rebecca Barnard
RockCoast Confections
Russell Nursery
Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea
Sherry Goshinmon
Shiki Sushi
Shizen Sushi
Side Street Studio
Sidney Museum
Subway (Eagle Creek Village)
Sushi Time Express
Taste of Tokyo
Terry & Carol McGinty
Tulipe Noire Clothing
Umi Nami Farms
Vessel Liquor
Wholesome Suds Natural Handmade Soap
Yoshi Sushi
Yukari Peerless
Yumiko Mizuno


With much thanks from the Japanese Cultural Fair Planning Team: Amy Kawano, Craig Mercer, Debbie Ibaraki, Donovan Aikman, Jo Brooks, JO Caragata, Kana Mercer, James Harada-Down, Kyle Armour, Lily Yee, Lorin Goshinmon, Marlene Howell, Maureen Bird, Patti Kagawa, Rebecca Barnard, Reyna Goshinmon, Susan Ikeda, Susan Kurushima, Tsugio Kurushima, Yukari Peerless, and Yumiko Mizuno.

Calling Japanese Classic Vehicle Enthusiasts!

We are looking for two to three vehicle owners to show case their old school (not newer than 1999) Japanese classics at this year’s Japanese Cultural Fair (held at the Esquimalt Gorge Park) on Saturday, August 26th, 2023 from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Cars will be located on the field beside the Pavilion where owners can interact with fair attendees and show off their hard work maintaining a piece of Japanese automobile history.

Some examples of vehicles we are hoping to see (but not limited to) are:

  • Datsun (240Z, 280ZX, 510)
  • Honda (Civic, CRX, NSX)
  • Mazda (Cosmo, MX-5 Miata, RX7 FC)
  • Mitsubishi (Lancer Evolution)
  • Nissan (240SX Silvia S13, Skyline GT-R)
  • Suzuki (Cappuccino, Jimny/Samurai, Viatra/Sidekick)
  • Subaru (Impreza Turbo, Impreza WRX)
  • Toyota (2000 GT, 4Runner, Celica, Cressida, Corolla GT AE86, Land Cruiser J40, MR2, Supra)

If you are interested in potentially showcasing your vehicle at the fair please contact

2023 Japanese Cultural Fair Coordinators needed

We have started planning for this year’s Japanese Cultural Fair on August 26, 2023! As many of you know, this is our biggest event, the fundraiser of the year, and it requires many volunteers. We are looking for following Coordinators to join our Fair Planning Team.

Finance Coordinator – NOW FILLED

This role is responsible for working with each area that handles sales (e.g., Food, Silent Auction, Things Japanese) to determine what they need in terms of floats. In addition, on Fair day they are responsible for visiting each area regularly to ensure they have everything they need. Finally, they need to tally all of the sales, both physical and electronic, and provide a final report out.

Children (Kodomo) Coordinator

This role is responsible for planning and running a kid-friendly area at the Fair. In the past, there has been origami, fish pond, ceramics, colouring, etc. If you love children and have great ideas, come and put them to use!

Outdoor Coordinator – NOW FILLED

This role is responsible to help supervise and support the outdoor activities (e.g., Tea Ceremony, Things Japanese, Food Trucks, Parking, etc.). They make sure all the areas have everything they need and regularly swing by to check up on them, while also staying in touch with the Fair Leads, Finance Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator, and the Indoor Coordinator. You’ll get a lot of steps in this role.

Indoor Coordinator – NOW FILLED

This role is responsible to help supervise and support the indoor activities (e.g., Ikebana, Presentations, Performances, Silent Auction, Food Sales, etc.). They make sure all the areas have everything they need and regularly swing by to check up on them while also staying in touch with the Fair Leads, Finance Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator, and the Outdoor Coordinator.

Food Sales Coordinator – NOW FILLED

This role is responsible to help supervise and support the VNCS Food Sales (e.g., Manju, Cold Drinks, Hot Tea etc.) within the Pavilion on the day of the Fair. In addition, they help support packaging of the food on the day before the Fair. This role works very closely with the Food Leads.

Volunteer Coordinator(s)

This role is responsible to promote, recruit, organize, and support all of the various volunteers needed on Fair day. This includes ensuring each area’s volunteer needs are met, providing name tags and happi coats to each volunteer as they arrive, and ensuring they are collected when they leave. The position works directly with the Fair Leads and works closely with the Indoor and Outdoor Coordinators.

If you are interested or have any questions, contact Craig or Yukari through

VNCS Manju Fundraiser – COMING SOON!

As you may know, we have decided not to hold the annual Japanese Cultural Fair this fall due to ongoing uncertainties with the Covid-19 Pandemic (Delta variant), but fear not! We are planning a Mochi Manju and Yaki Manju sale and fundraiser soon. Pre-order and pick up information will be coming soon to your inbox. You may not be able to experience the sights and sounds of the fair but you will be able to experience the taste and will be back in 2022 better than ever!

2021 Japanese Cultural Fair Survey

It is again time to plan for our annual Japanese Cultural Fair. Last year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and community safety restrictions, we could not hold an in-person fair, but instead held an online cultural fair broadcast from the Belfry Theatre.

With the BC Restart Plan well underway we would like to gauge past and potential fair attendee’s interest in the VNCS pursuing an in-person fair or whether we should stay virtual for one more year, or even potentially postpone the fair till the Spring of 2022. YOUR VOICE IS IMPORTANT and we would love to hear from you to help us in our planning!

Please complete our short, anonymous  survey by Sunday, July 25. You can also send your feedback to Arigatou!!!