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L.A. Beat

Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens open for the season with new guidelines

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Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens opened their gates, Thursday, June 11, albeit a month late, but staff wanted to ensure they were following Alberta Health’s post Covid guidelines.
“We’re excited to reopen the Garden experience according to Alberta Health guidelines. While we’re mostly outside, there are inside exhibits,” said Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens executive director Michelle Day.The Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden is open for the season. Photo by Richard Amery

“ We took the extra time to retool and wash and clean and to get the supplies and glass shields in place,” she continued.
Changes include sanitization stations inside the main gates and in the main building and  hours have been reduced to Thursdays through Mondays from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.. A maximum of 50 people will be permitted per hour and 10 people permitted inside the visitors centre as well as the tea pavillion. Guests are asked to stay two metres from other guests.

“We’re closed Tuesday and Wednesday, but we’re open on those days for private functions,” she continued, adding they are planning to be open until the end of September, and may stay open into October.

“That depends on  the weather and staffing. And we need to get started planning on the festival-of lights then,” she said.
There will no longer be guided tours, however patrons will receive comprehensive self guided tour tour brochures and signs have been inobtrusively posted next to the main features of the gardens.

“We didn’t want to disturb the natural beauty of the gardens,” she continued.


They have already had bookings for wedding and grad photos and three film crews are planning to film different projects on the Nikka Yuko grounds filming content and stories about Japanese ancestry. One is working with CBC on a project about the Gardens.
“ We’re really excited about that,” she said.


The Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden is open for the season. Photo by Richard Amery
 Programming has undergone a few changes, however there will be regularly scheduled programming. Sumo Sunday continues every Sunday, Go Monday features Go boards so visitors can learn and play the popular Japanese games. Flow Yoga happens Tuesdays, but must be booked online. Sessions begin at 10 a.m. Flow Yoga sessions, with the Canada Yoga Institute begin at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays.


Thursdays feature Meisou meditation and the Ochakai Tea ceremony. The tea ceremonies must be booked online unless there is room in the sessions, which are 11-11:30 a.m. and 3-3:30 p.m. Tickets are $20.

The Canadian Yoga Institute also hosts 108 Yoga on Thursdays beginning at 5:30 p.m.. The $25 tickets include mat rental, a water bottle and a courtesy pass to the garden.

The tea ceremonies will be limited to 10 at a time as well. Tea ceremony demonstrations will be every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and allow guests insight into the intricacies of the tea ceremony as well as sample hand whisked matcha and Japanese sweets.

“ But that means the ceremonies will be  more intimate and more individual experience, Day said.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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