The picturesque pond at the Nitobe Memorial Gardens also includes a bridge connecting pathways throughout the park.
The Nitobe Memorial Gardens located on the campus grounds of the University of British Columbia is initially an unassuming thick white wall separating its contents from the curious.
In its peaceful setting, this traditional Japanese garden is shaded by large groves of conifer trees; it was created in conjunction with the larger, University of British Columbia Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research which is located east of the Nitobe Memorial Gardens.
The Garden is designed in the "Tea and Stroll" category which is unique to any in North America. It is also considered among the top five Japanese Gardens outside of Japan and was lauded for its authenticity by the current Emperor of Japan during his trip to Vancouver in 1953.
Its named in honour of Inazo Nitobe who dedicated his life to life to bridging the gap between the traditional Japanese Culture of the East to helping create a Japanese identity in the West.
The garden, although open to the public is studied by classes and professors at the University of British Columbia due to the features found within the park such as the authentic Ceremonial Tea House and Tea Gardens as well as the placement of the materials within the garden. Interestingly enough, after research and years of observation it has been theorized that there are some hidden elements to the park such as a lantern placed in a fashion that it appears lit on the yearly anniversary of Inazo Nitobe's death, or bridges (known as shadow bridges) visible only at certain times of the year which has added to the appeal of this garden.
The combination of east and west is seen clearly in the plant species as both native and Japanese plants have been united to create the experience, as well as a large variety of elements such as earth forms and rocks, waterfalls, the koi pond and built elements such as bridges and walkways. The lush colours and the west coast environment have enabled this garden to be a year-round attraction.
Tours are offered to interested parties as well as tea ceremonies on the last Saturday of each month in the summer in the authentic Tea House; both culturally interesting activities for all ages. In the spring months new blooms, Vancouver's famous cherry blossoms, and animals raising their young add an extra appeal to visiting these popular gardens.
Use the interactive map below to locate and explore the areas around Nitobe Memorial GardensThe Nitobe Memorial Garden is located near the Museum of Anthropology
Click the brown GEMS on the map to navigate to the other activities within this region