Tonari Gumi’s first Fall Bazaar in their new facilities at 42 West 8th Avenue in Vancouver on Saturday, November 1st attracted large numbers of customers in search of tasty Japanese foods, kimonos and Japanese decorator items. The line of expectant buyers stretched to the end of the block by the time doors opened at 11:30 a.m.
Among some of the most popular items which attracted both veteran and novice bazaar shoppers were the manju (sweet Japanese rice cakes), the tsukemono (Japanese-style pickles), matsutake gohan (pine mushroom rice), sabazushi (pickled mackerel sushi), and karinto (deep-fried Japanese-style confection). Many delicious home baked items were also available this year. All these items and many more had been produced by Tonari Gumi’s hard-working volunteers over the past several weeks in preparation for this annual event.
Also popular were the many crafts, hand-made by Tonari Gumi seniors, often utilizing fabrics from used Japanese kimonos. The used Kimonos themselves were also popular items as Tonari Gumi is one of the few sellers of reasonably priced used Japanese kimonos, ranging from every-day cotton yukatas to beautifully embroidered silk wedding kimonos. Used Japanese dolls and hand-knitted scarves and hats were among the many other items up for sale, providing something for everyone.
This year, for the first time, there was an area on the second floor in the Tonari Gumi library area where customers could sit and enjoy hot tea while partaking of some of the tasty food items they had purchased on the main floor.
Throughout the bazaar, customers were served by the always courteous Tonari Gumi volunteers. Special thanks go to Lurana (Kikko)Tasaka, Asaoka Mikurube and our new program coordinator, Atsuko Ichijo, for their tireless work in organizing and preparing for this year’s bazaar. For both the young and the old, this year’s Tonari Gumi Fall Bazaar was a real hit.
Don’t miss our next great event, the 9th Annual Tonari Gumi Christmas Concert on Sunday, November 30th starting at 3:00 p.m. at the St. Matthias & St. Luke Anglican Church at 680 – 49th Avenue (not far from the Langara 49th Skytrain Station) in Vancouver.