Japanese garden

Peace and tranquility

The Japanese gardens at Hatley Park date back to the 1910s and remain an oasis of peace and tranquility to this day.

The upper Japanese garden was built first, designed by Isaburo Kishida. Bordered by a lake on one side and bisected by streams, this garden features Japanese maples and flowering cherries imported from Yokohama.

Azaleas, lanterns and a water wheel

Under-plantings of azaleas and primroses decorate the pathways in spring. Rustic stone lanterns peer out of the foliage, too, and visitors will spot these during a quiet stroll perhaps marked only by the buzz of insects or the scoop and splash of a wooden water wheel.

Kingfishers and trout

Tadashi Noda, who had helped create the Gorge Tea Garden in Victoria, designed the lower garden, which was built between 1916 and 1919. It surrounds a small lake. Visitors will note the snowy Shirotae flowering cherries and towering Pink Pearl rhododendrons nearby.

A narrow path traces the shore of the lake and leads to an elegant curved wooden bridge. Walk across the bridge and you'll find an island planted with 100-year-old rhodos and a pavilion extending over the water. Standing on this pavilion, you can watch for trout leaping from the water and hear the cry of kingfishers as they zip across the lake.