Nitobe Memorial Garden

Please note: Nitobe Memorial Garden will be closed on Thursday, July 28.


Welcome to Nitobe Memorial Garden, a traditional Japanese Tea and Stroll garden located at the University of British Columbia. Nitobe Garden is considered to be the one of the most authentic Japanese gardens in North America and among the top five Japanese gardens outside of Japan. Nitobe Garden includes a rare authentic Tea Garden with a ceremonial Tea House.

“I am in Japan,” said Akihito, Crown Prince (now Emperor) of Japan as he walked through UBC’s renowned Nitobe Memorial Garden. The exquisite work of art was created out of one hectare (two-and-a-half acres) of pristine forest by landscape architects and gardeners recommended by the Government of Japan.

The garden honours Inazo Nitobe (1862-1933) whose goal was “to become a bridge across the Pacific.” Among many other memorials to him is his portrait on the 5000 yen note.

Each tree, stone and shrub has been deliberately placed and is carefully maintained to reflect an idealized conception and symbolic representation of nature. There is harmony among natural forms – waterfalls, rivers, forests, islands and seas – and a balance of masculine and feminine forces traditionally attributed to natural elements. Realizing that many native trees and shrubs could be trained and pruned in typical Japanese fashion, the garden’s creators incorporated them as unique features. Some maple and cherry trees and most of the azaleas and iris were brought from Japan. A place of reflection, where each step reveals a new harmony, the garden is designed to suggest a span of time – a day, a week or a lifetime – with a beginning, choice of paths, and ending.

Although it is appreciated by all who visit, it is highly recommended Nitobe visitors take advantage of tours. Visit in spring for the cherry blossoms, summer for the irises or autumn for the maples. The subtleties of Nitobe Memorial Garden can be enjoyed throughout the year, including a reflecting pond with Koi, streams and waterfalls, stone lanterns and the teahouse — all contribute to a unique and meaningful experience.

Inazo Nitobe

Inazo Nitobe Who is Inazo Nitobe? Dr. Inazo Nitobe (1862-1933) was an agriculturalist, scholar, Quaker, philosopher, statesman, and educator. Dr.

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The Tea House

The Tea House (Ichibō-an) The tea house of Nitobe Garden, Ichibō-an (Hut of the Sweeping View), is a classical example

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Tea Ceremonies

Tea Ceremonies The Urasenke Foundation of Vancouver hosts tea ceremonies at Nitobe Memorial Garden throughout the summer. Visitors attending the

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Religion & Spirituality

Shintoism: Shintoism is one of the worlds most ancient religions and was the state religion of Japan until 1945. In

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Symbolism Of Lanterns

Symbolism Of Lanterns History Lanterns were originally introduced into Japan by China. The first ones were made of metal and

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Symbols & Signifiers

Symbols & Signifiers Alarm Rock: The angular rock just before the Nitobe lantern is an “alarm rock”. It alerts us

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