Nitobe Garden at UBC

Vancouver’s Nitobe Memorial Garden at UBC is considered one of the top five Japanese gardens outside Japan, so a must see for anyone that likes gardens.


Due to the coronavirus, the Nitobe Memorial Garden originally suspended operations. As of early August, however, it is open to the public once again. Reservations must be made online in advance.

For more information about the status of the venue see the Nitobe Garden website.

To see more attractions that are temporarily closed click Vancouver Attractions Closed Due To COVID-19.

Nitobe Japanese Garden

Nitobe Garden is a small Japanese-style garden with a couple of ponds, bridges, outdoor Oriental art, walking paths, trees and other plants. It’s run by the UBC Botanical Garden but is located in a different area on campus, not far from the Museum of Anthropology.

Best Times to Visit Nitobe Garden

Anytime that it’s open is a good time to see the Nitobe Memorial Garden, assuming you like gardens, although it’s best in the late spring, summer and late fall.

For different reasons, the best times to visit are from November to early March (when the park isn’t at its finest but entry is by donation, so extra cheap), in the spring (to see the cherry blossoms), in the summer (when it’s beautiful and in the shade), and in the fall (when the autumn leaves are at their best).

Summer is also an especially good time to visit as the Nitobe Memorial Garden has an authentic Tea Garden and Tea House, with traditional Japanese tea ceremonies for the public taking place once an hour from noon until 4 pm the last Saturday of the month from May until September, for a cost of about $10 in addition to the regular garden admission fees.

The garden can be busy on Tea Ceremony days, but it’s a great and truly Japanese experience that’s highly recommended (but no guarantees that you’ll like the taste of the tea as it can be an acquired taste).

Garden Admission

Nitobe Memorial Garden is typically open from around November 1st until early to mid-March by donation on weekdays from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm, and daily and with an admission charge for the rest of the year from 10:00 am until 4:30 pm.

The regular cost for the garden is about $7 for adults, but free year-round for UBC students. Information on rates including combined entrance with other UBC garden facilities can be found at the UBC Botanical Garden‘s website.

Click Nitobe Memorial Garden for a map of the garden.

Winter at Nitobe Garden
Nitobe Japanese Memorial Garden in Winter

TIP: If you are interested in seeing the Museum of Anthropology, UBC Botanical Garden and Nitobe Memorial Garden, consider buying the UBC Museums and Gardens Pass for $26 per adult or $65 for a family. (Just don’t forget though that entrance to the Nitobe and UBC Botanical Gardens are by donation for about four months of the year).

If you like the Nitobe Memorial Japanese Garden, other places you might like include Stanley Park, VanDusen Botanical Gardens and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden, the first of which is free and the last of which is the most similar.