Step into a world of traditional stone lanterns, Zen designs and beautifully landscaped plants at the Japanese-style Kasugai Gardens. Stop for a drink at the tea house and gaze into the pond to spot colorful fish.
Built in 1985 as a symbol of the friendship between Kelowna and the Japanese city of Kasugai, the Kasugai Gardens are a haven within the busy city center. Enter the park and you will see the symbolic Circle of Friendship sculpture. This was designed by Dutch artist Geert Maas as a memorial to Yukihisa (Roy) Tanaka, who devoted his life to building relations between Canada and Japan.
Stroll along the gravel paths in the fully enclosed garden and you will feel a world away from the busy city streets. Admire traditional Japanese details, such as stone fountains and intricately detailed wooden bridges. Appreciate the simplicity of Japanese garden design and imagine Zen monks in ancient temples practicing their morning routines of raking patterns into the gravel. Be sure to stop by the pond to spot bright koi fish swimming beneath the lilies.
Take a rest with a cup of green tea in the tea house. The small enclosure provides the perfect place to appreciate the serenity of the gardens. Listen to the calming sound of running water and observe the colors of the trees around you. These are particularly spectacular in autumn when the acers and maples turn burning reds and oranges.
Kasugai Gardens is located close to the city center, just east of the City Hall. It is a popular spot with local workers, who come here to unwind during lunchtime or at the end of the day. The gardens are open during daylight hours and there is no admission fee. Several bus routes stop close by.