Japanese Gardens at the Gorge


Have you visited the beautiful Japanese Gardens in the Gorge Area of Victoria? 

Did you know that it was the 1st Japanese Garden in North America?
Did you know that its designer was the same chap who designed Butchart Gardens?


“In 1907, Japanese garden designer Isaburo Kishida, then in his 60s, was asked by his son, Yoshitaro, to take the long and difficult sea journey to Victoria B.C. and join him in setting up a Japanese tea garden in Victoria's Esquimalt Gorge Park. It was the first Japanese gardens in British Columbia and it soon started a trend of them amongst Edwardian high society.

With the highly successful opening of the tea garden, which drew a record breaking attendance of 5000 people in three days, many people desired a private Japanese garden of their own, and it was soon after the opening that three very influential families of the time commissioned Kishida to design gardens on their estate grounds. Of the three, two remain intact today, one being the Butchant Garden, the other the Japanese garden at Hatley Park, which was commissioned by coal baron and politician James Dunsmuir and his wife Laura in approximately 1909 and believed to have been completed the following year.”
*Taken from:

In the 1920′s and 30′s, Victoria’s Gorge Waterway was the place to be in the summer. Along with swimming and boating, one of the most popular attractions was the Japanese Tea Gardens.


The Garden was operated until 1941, when the Takada family who ran it, were sent to a Japanese internment camp in the Kootenays – never to return.

The Gardens and Tea House were destroyed by vandals.

The Township of Esquimalt and Volunteers have done Yeoman’s work in restoring the site.…and Mr. Takada still gardens in Toronto!


When they were forced to leave Victoria, The Takata family gave many plants to their Gorge neighbours including 2 Japanese maple now over 100 years old that were transplanted here in 2008 as a gift from one of those neighbours on the Gorge.

This garden was designed to recreate the unique components of traditional Japanese “stroll gardens” with the focus on understatement and simplicity.

Design features include:

  • Moon viewing bridge made in a traditional, minimalist Japanese style is a popular spot for wedding photos due to the many weddings held on the property.
  • A Zigzag bridge known as a Yatsuhashi bridge. It is believed that if chased by evil spirits, anyone crossing the bridge will be protected as the spirits can only go in a straight line and cannot follow around the corners of the bridge.
  • An authentic Ceremonial Teahouse overlooks the lower pond.
  • Fences and gates made from bamboo-like grasses called Miscanthus gigantus harvested from an enormous planting that separates the Zen garden from the upper Takata.


Visit These beautiful Japanese Gardens via the Gorge Kinsmen Park off of Tillicum Road.  


          This educational blog piece is brought to you by your

Gorge Area Real Estate Team: 

 (250) 514-1663 or

"We sell "Gorge"ous homes in your area!




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MLS® property information is provided under copyright© by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and Victoria Real Estate Board. The information is from sources deemed reliable, but should not be relied upon without independent verification.