Bus Tour

Tomoshibi 灯 Journey

lighting the way through Japanese Canadian sites of internment

July 15 – 19, 2024 (4 nights, 5 days)

Thank you for your interest in the Tomoshibi Journey Bus Tour. Unfortunately, because of a wait list from the previous year’s tour, we are at maximum capacity for this summer’s tour. Due to popular demand, we are planning a second tour this year and would like to extend an opportunity for participants to join us at that time. The tour will run from September 14th (Sat) to the 18th (Wed), 2024 if we are able to get enough confirmed participants to make it cost effective.

Please email to [email protected] with the details below:
– your first & last name
– phone number/email address
– names and number of participants (double or single occupancy details, if possible)

Alternatively, please let us know if you would prefer to be on the contact list for the summer of 2025. (July dates TBA)

Your responses will help us determine which dates will be the most beneficial for our group.

We will get back to you on March 15 8, 2024 if the second tour will proceed and will send registration details at that time.

As always, we appreciate your continued support and partnership.
Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out any time.
Tour Manager Michael Abe [email protected]
Tour Coordinator Kimiko Yoshino [email protected]

Tomoshibi 灯 is a Japanese word lit. meaning ‘to light’, used for traditional lanterns in shrines or in matsuri that lead people to places of gathering, worship, celebration, healing, warmth, and connection.  Conceptually it can mean to ignite hope and is a light that is lit by someone to help guide and embrace another. 

The Second World War internment era saw the forced removal of over 22,000 Japanese Canadians from coastal British Columbia. On this 5-day journey, we trace the first difficult days of internment at Hastings Park in Vancouver, and to visit historic communities, such as Tashme, Greenwood, New Denver, Kaslo, Slocan, and Sandon. In these towns, existing buildings were repurposed to house Japanese Canadians. The tour will also visit remote town sites that no longer exist, including Lemon Creek, Bay Farm, Popoff, and East Lillooet. While they have a solemn past, several of these locations still have small but thriving Japanese Canadian communities. We will also stop to view highway commemorative signs which were installed in 2017/2018.

With professional tour guiding based upon research from the NNMCC archives we make the invisible visible again. The tour program is robust. It includes accurate accounts of internment history, running commentary of the sites, and if we are fortunate to have elder survivors on the bus, they are invited to share their personal stories as they feel comfortable. Worked into the tour from beginning to end is counseling support and healing circles to help participants process the contrast of beautiful British Columbia with the dark history of towns and buildings that used to house internees as well as now-empty fields where internment shacks used to stand.  It is both a physical and emotional journey to the past but one that lights our way forward. 

A handy guidebook with maps, pictures and facts will be provided. We will share stories, have healing circles, and watch films on the bus to immerse you in Japanese Canadian history and culture.

Tour price: $1400 +GST per person double occupancy, $1900 + GST per person single occupancy.

Application process will open online on March 1, 2024. A $500 deposit is required to secure your spot.

Maximum 50 people.

If the tour sells out, we will keep a waiting list for 2025.

Questions?  Email [email protected] Attn : Michael Abe, Tour Manager

Cancellation requests received
– before May 31, 2024 will be refunded minus $100 administration fee.
– after June 1, 2024 will be refunded minus $250 administration fee, if replacements can be found.

Refunds will be issued in full if the bus tour is cancelled by NNMCC.  
Please allow 90 days for all refunds.

Each year we monitor the situation in advance of the tour and throughout. If a portion of the tour is affected, we will modify accordingly for safety.

We gratefully acknowledge support from the Japanese Canadian Legacies Society.