CA$0 – CA$10

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Historic Powell Street Walking Tours: Vancouver, BC

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CA$0 – CA$10

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Vancouver Japanese Language School - Japanese Hall (VJLS-JH)

487 Alexander Street

Vancouver, BC V6A 1C6


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Event description
Explore the hidden history of the pre-War Japanese Canadian community in Vancouver's historic Powell Street area!

About this event

It is not common knowledge that prior to the Incarceration, Displacement and Dispossession of 1942, the Powell Street corridor was once the home to 8000 Japanese Canadians and over 400 Japanese owned businesses. Today, there is an abundance of remaining history and architecture that tells the story of a community that once thrived in this unique area of Vancouver!

$10 for the general public | Free under 18 . We encourage you to wear a mask and socially distance from those outside of your bubble. Tours will be approximately 1.5 hours in length. Groups will be limited to 8 attendees + 1-2 tour guide(s).

No tours will be held on holiday weekends. After June 24th, there will be no 3pm slots on Thursdays.

Regular tours will be held in English. Tours in Japanese can be offered upon special request. 日本語でのツアーも可能ですので、お気軽にご相談ください。 Tours will occur RAIN OR SHINE! :)

Interested in participating in a walking tour with homestyle Japanese food at the end? We've partnered with local restaurant, Dosanko to make this happen! Food will include a 10% discount if ordered through us. Please email: Mika at if interested.

VJLS-JH recognizes that the land of which we hold our tours is on the traditional, unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. We are extremely grateful to be on this land and we encourage those who visit our organization to think about the privilege of occupying and living upon these spaces.

Why were the Japanese Canadians of Powell Street displaced?

With the outbreak of the war in late 1941, in April of 1942, the federal government, pressured by racist BC politicians, forcibly ordered 22,000 Japanese Canadians to relocate 100 miles east of the coast of British Columbia to remote ghost towns or open farm fields. Japanese Canadians were labelled as ‘enemy aliens’ and deemed a security threat to national security. The government confiscated their properties, businesses, and homes beginning in April of 1942 as a way to pay for their Incarceration. Men aged 18-40 were forced to go road camps as forced labour, and women and children were shipped off to government sponsored internment camps throughout BC's interior.

Japanese Canadians were not permitted to return to the Coast until 1949, four years after the war ended. Less than half of those interned returned to the coast. Many were deported to Japan or were forced to disperse across Canada.

About us:

Located in Historic Powell Street (Paueru Gai) in the heart of the Downtown Eastside, VJLS-JH is a National Historic Site. Overcoming racism, social injustice, displacement and dispossession, through the miraculous efforts of the Japanese Canadian community, we as an organization have rebuilt and evolved to become a living symbol of community resilience and strength. VJLS-JH now stands as one of the only properties that was returned to Japanese Canadians after the WWII Internment and Dispossession. Today, we continue to educate Japanese language, culture, run a childcare centre, and have transitioned into developing heritage and community programming. Check out Our Website

VJLS-JH Instagram + VJLS-JH Facebook Page

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Organizer Vancouver Japanese Language School - Japanese Hall

Organizer of Historic Powell Street Walking Tours: Vancouver, BC

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