Nestled in the prairies of southern Alberta lives a Japanese oasis with a rich history and breathtaking views. Nikka Yuko means Japan-Canada Friendship and we invite you to experience the friendship here at our garden. Enjoy a variety of cultural experiences that will stimulate all the senses. Smell the yellow cypress (Hinoki) as you enter the garden, feel the breeze on the Pavilion deck as you relax to the sounds of a waterfall. Experience Nodate, an open-air tea service, or partake in a tea ceremony and savour Japanese matcha green tea. Let our staff dress you in a Yukata, a traditional Japanese daily wear, and snap the perfect photo with the perfect backdrop. Let your energies soar to the beat of a Taiko drum and then relax while watching the colourful Minyo dancers performing in the garden. Ring the friendship bell and listen as the sound travels across scenic Henderson Lake.
Join one of our daily tours and try your hand at a Japanese cultural activity such as calligraphy or origami, or book your own private tour. Our Horticultural Experience is guided by our expert gardeners and explores how a Canadian garden was created using Japanese style, design, aesthetic, and philosophical ideas and how they helped shape Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden. Our Japanese-Canadian Experience is led by a local historical expert and provides a detailed understanding of why the Garden became a tribute to those with Japanese ancestry in southern Alberta. Hear about the internment camps, pre-war Japanese settlements, and how the formation of this Japanese garden was influenced by many over the years.
For the ultimate in relaxation and meditation, book a Sunset Sake experience to try a variety of sake paired with culinary samples from Japan, a reflexology session to unwind in the garden, or join a yoga class in a picturesque setting.
Our packages can be tailored to groups of all sizes, let us create the perfect venue for your next event or rejuvenating corporate retreat.
Created as a tribute to Japanese-Canadians during Canada’s Centennial in 1967, this peaceful oasis blends Japanese traditions with Prairie landscapes. Japanese designer Tadashi Kubo closely studied southern Alberta’s scenery and culture before creating the garden’s master plan. Structures such as gates, bridges and the teahouse were built in Kyoto, shipped to Lethbridge and carefully reassembled. A city park surrounding the garden provides wide-open Prairie vistas, which are gradually revealed to you as you stroll along the garden’s paths. You can also immerse yourself in Japanese culture: snap a selfie while dressed in a traditional Japanese yukata, sip matcha during a tea ceremony or watch dancers spinning to the pounding beat of taiko drums. On tours, expert gardeners explain how the garden uses Canadian plants to reflect Japanese aesthetics.