Avenue’s Ultimate Summer Challenge #5: Take a Road Trip to a Japanese Garden

Drive to Lethbridge to visit the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden, where the design reflects and celebrates both Japanese and Canadian culture.

Photograph courtesy of Tourism Lethbridge

Welcome to Avenue‘s Ultimate Summer Challenge. During July and August 2021, we’re challenging our readers to try a different fun activity every week to make the most of the summer. Plus, we show you how to take that activity to the next level. Click here to see the rest of the challenges.


With restrictions on international travel, a road trip to a cultural attraction can help scratch the itch of wanting to experience another country. Approximately two-and-a-half hours south of Calgary in Lethbridge you’ll find the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden. The garden design reflects and celebrates both Japanese and Canadian culture, fusing native Albertan landscapes with Japanese elements and symbols, including a tea house, bell tower, gates and bridges that were handcrafted in Kyoto and then shipped to the garden site. Throughout the year, the garden hosts traditional tea ceremonies, exhibits from local artists and seasonal festivals. Of course, operations have been affected by COVID-19 restrictions, so make sure to research opening hours and visitor regulations at nikkayuko.com prior to setting out.


Level Up: DIY Japanese Garden

If you enjoy the calming effects of spending time in a Japanese garden, why not create one at home? Nikka Yuko’s complimentary audio tours provide detailed information about the art of Japanese gardening and its principles of simplicity, balance and grace. Use what you’ve learned to create a tranquil space in your own yard, where you can retreat to practice meditation or yoga.

Corner of 9th Ave S &, Mayor Magrath Dr S, 403-328-3511, nikkayuko.com

Want more suggestions for the best things to do in Calgary? Sign up for our Weekender Newsletter.

This article appears in the July 2021 issue of Avenue Calgary.

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