Scenes of Japanese Deliciousness and Delight at the Powell Street Festival

Our bellies are still a little full from the 41st annual Powell Street Festival, which went down on the Saturday and Sunday of the BC Day Long Weekend. Without question, this was the most delicious and entertaining one we’ve ever attended.

The festival, which has been celebrating Japanese-Canadian arts and culture since 1977, is anchored by Oppenheimer Park and the old Japantown blocks to the north of it. The two-day festival offers martial arts demonstrations, sumo matches, live music performances, and dozens of artisans selling their wares (everything from masks and kimonos to ceramics and prints), but what always gets us there early every year is the food…

It’s a Japanese street food paradise with tents and trucks serving up torched Spam musubi (oh hell yes!), yakisoba, ramen, gyoza, korokke, wood-fired salmon, rice balls, summer corn, shaved ice – even Japadogs! The line ups can be a little intimidating to the uninitiated but they move pretty quick — it is fast food, after all. Seriously, don’t sweat the queues at all. The real trick – and we abandon this rule without fail every year – is to pace yourself and share so you don’t go overboard too quickly.  And good luck with that.


photos by Andrew Morrison & Michelle Sproule

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