The Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden is now open for the summer season. The opening weekend will include a variety of events, including Minyo dancing, a type of Japanese folk dance, taiko drumming with Nikka Yuko’s new drumming team, storytelling, tea ceremony presentations, and anime showings.
This season will be the first with the garden’s new Bunka Centre fully open. It includes exhibits, daily programming, events, workshops and presentations.
“Like many businesses we saw a drop in our attendance in 2020, but we are encouraged to see our attendance levels rising above our expectations as people begin to travel once again,” says Michelle Day, Executive Director for Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden. “More than 50 per cent of our guests are visiting us from Calgary and out of town, which creates a positive impact to our community as these visitors eat, sleep, and shop in Lethbridge while they’re here.”
Nikka Yuko will be open weekly from Thursdays to Mondays, with a different themed cultural program each day. The garden will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursdays, Sundays, and Monday. It will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets can be purchased online or in person at the Bunka Centre when guests arrive.
“Following another successful Winter Light Festival season, the team at Nikka Yuko is looking forward to continuing to break attendance records as the garden gains recognition on provincial and national levels,” reads a news release from Nikka Yuko.
The 2021/2022 Winter Light Festival saw a total of 23,216 guests, an 18.5 per cent increase from the previous season — the entire 2021 season welcomed a total of 43,808 guests, which was a 30 per cent increase from the previous year and brings attendance levels to above pre-COVID numbers, according to the news release.
The Bunka Centre will have an official grand opening on July 14 on Nikka Yuko’s 55th anniversary.