Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden is a quiet oasis, removed from the hustle and bustle of every day life. We pride ourselves on providing our guests with a sense of peace and relaxation when they tour the garden and leave feeling serene. Knowing what to expect before your visit will help provide you, and all our guests, with a beautiful experience while also protecting our carefully tended garden.

Garden Etiquette

  • Stay on approved pathways, please do not walk on ariso [flat rock] beaches near the streams and pond or climb trees
  • No smoking or vaping is allowed inside the garden
  • No pets, only trained service animals
  • No drone photography/filming at any time
  • Guests must remove their shoes or wear shoe covers when inside the tea pavilion to protect the floors
  • No outside food or drinks allowed inside the garden. We ask that no food or drinks, aside from bottled water, is brought into the tea pavilion
  • Please silence your cell phones and refrain from talking on them while in the garden. Take the time to unplug and relax!

Covid-19 Policies

  • Masks are required for all guests while inside AND outdoors during the Winter Light Festival unless actively eating, drinking, or taking photos outdoors. Disposable masks are provided free of charge to all guests and cloth masks can be purchased in our gift shop
  • Guests are not required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to attend the Winter Light Festival. However, the Vaccine Exemption Program will be put in place for any indoor private gatherings. 
  • Please follow physical distancing protocols (2 metres/6 feet) between visitors outside of your group, especially in smaller areas such as on the pavilion deck, light tunnels, and while inside the Bunka or Yanoshita Centres
  • No more than 10 people from the same household can enter at one time. Groups larger than 10 will be asked to enter in a staggered fashion to prevent crowding
  • Please follow all signage and the provided self-guided tour brochure to follow a one-way path around the garden
  • We highly encourage all guests to purchase their tickets online, this will also guarantee entry as limited number of guests are allowed inside the garden each half hour. Evenings can sell out quickly and there may not be tickets available if you purchase in person
  • Contactless payment (credit/debit) is preferred over cash whenever possible
  • All programs and activities have been designed to reflect physical distancing guidelines - please do NOT move seating or signage
  • Please wash your hands and/or use hand sanitizer provided at entry points and washrooms
  • Washrooms have frequent sanitation protocols
  • Public spaces and displays are cleaned and sanitized at regular intervals
  • Please do not visit the garden if you are displaying any symptoms of COVID-19 (including cough, fever, runny nose, shortness of breath, or sore throat) or have been in contact with someone who has symptoms or a confirmed case of COVID-19. We will gladly honour your tickets for another day when you are feeling better.
  • Our staff are working hard to keep the garden and its facilities safe and cleaned for our guests and may need to ask you to wait before entering the pavilion or Visitor Centre depending the current capacity. We appreciate your patience, understanding, and kindness towards our hosts and hostesses at this time. Harassment is not tolerated at any time. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Where are the flowers?
Our most asked question! Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden is not a botanical garden and, like many traditional Japanese garden, does not have a year-round display of flowers. The colours of our garden varies with the seasons; our crabapple blossoms bloom in the spring, followed by our peonies inside the Prairie Garden, then a lush green garden during the summer before finishing with the beautiful red and gold maple leaves in autumn. These changes remind us that nothing is permanent and we invite you back throughout the seasons for a new experience each visit!

Can I bring my dog to Nikka Yuko?
While we certainly love all four-legged friends, we unfortunately do not allow any animals inside the garden with the exception of certified service animals. Service animals must be on a leash and are not allowed inside the pavilion due to the fragility of the floors.

Is the garden wheelchair/stroller accessible?
Yes! All our pathways are accessible for wheelchairs and strollers. We ask that you take care on the moon bridge by the bell as it is slightly steeper. A ramp is located off the pavilion deck for access. We ask that strollers remain outside the pavilion if possible. Please ask our hosts or hostesses for assistance with storing strollers while in the pavilion and for gaining access in your wheelchair.

Do you offer tours of the garden?
Yes! Our hosts and hostesses offer half an hour guided tours through the garden at 11AM, 1PM, and 3PM Thursdays to Mondays during our summer season only. Guided tours are included with your admission and begin at the main gates. Guided tours are not offered during the Winter Light Festival.

How should I dress?
There is no dress code at the garden, but all guests must be wearing a shirt and shoes. The garden is open rain or shine during the summer months, so dress comfortably. Umbrellas are available to borrow during your visit if it happens to rain. Please dress warmly for the Winter Light Festival. Warming stations are placed throughout the garden, but please dress accordingly to the cold temperatures to ensure a comfortable visit.

Why do I have to take my shoes off in the pavilion?
Our tea pavilion floors are made from a beautiful aromatic yellow cypress wood. This is a very soft wood and scratches easily with any dirt or small rocks that may be on the bottom of your shoes. We ask that all guests remove their footwear at the door of the pavilion. You can leave your shoes on the pavilion deck while you tour the indoors. Take the opportunity to enjoy the soft wood under your feet! If you are unable to remove your shoes, or if you prefer to leave them on, we do offer shoe covers.

Can I take photos/do a photoshoot in the garden?
Guests are welcome to take as many non-professional/non-commercial photos as they like, provided they stay on the pathways and avoid blocking areas for other guests to move past. We ask you do not bring tripods, light stands, or anything that would obstruct pathways. Commercial photoshoots and film shoots must be booked in advance through the garden, however you will be able to access off the path areas with the assistance of an accompanying host or hostess. Drones are not allowed at any time.  

Can I get married at Nikka Yuko?
Yes! Please see our Wedding Book for more information on hosting your special day at Nikka Yuko!

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