Butchart Garden
Japanese Garden Photos

Butchart Garden Japanese Garden Photo Tour. See the Japanese Garden transform from season to season, plus find links to other Butchart Gardens photo tours.

There is a good reason why the Butchart Garden Japanese Garden feels so very authentic. Back in 1907, while the Butchart Quarry was still in operation, Jennie Butchart commissioned Japanese garden designer Isaburo Kishida of Yokohama Japan to create a Japanese Garden at the Butchart home.

And a beautiful job he did, too, from the several Japanese maple bonzai trees, the shaped trees, and the seasonal explosion of color in autumn.


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Butchart Garden Japanese Garden

Entry into Butchart Garden Japanese Garden

If you had any doubt as to where you were in the many acres of Butchart Gardens, this Japanese archway will immediately situate you on the map - Japanese Garden.

The horticultural flavor immediately shifts to the Orient, including the appearance of the foot bridges and the Japanese statuettes.

From the Japanese maples and other typical species of plants to the treatments of these plants, you'll be awed at the beauty of the Japanese Garden.



Butchart Garden Japanese Garden
Spring and Summer


Butchart Garden Japanese Garden near Victoria BC
Butchart Garden Japanese Garden near Victoria BC
Butchart Garden Japanese Garden near Victoria BC
Japanese Pine in Butchart Garden Japanese Garden near Victoria BC

That last photo on the right above is a Japanese pine. It remains evergreen throughout the year. No, the tree is not on fire; rather, autumn has finally beset the Park...


Butchart Garden Japanese Garden in Autumn


Pathway into Butchart Garden Japanese Garden in autumn

Thanks to Acer palmatum, the Japanese Maple, which explodes into vivid reds and oranges as soon as the temperatures begin to drop, the Japanese Garden also bursts dramatically into color in the fall. While there is still plenty of green for contrast, it is difficult to count the number of fiery hues one will encounter. They run the gamut from nearly purple through red and orange, and even to yellow. It is a sight to behold.


Genius was the juxtaposition of a single tree's pale green foliage against the inexhaustible reds and oranges of autumn. Even in summertime, the pale and peaceful tree nearly glows, providing relief from the overwhelming greenness.


Pale green tree foliage provides contrast through both summer and autumn at Butchart Gardens

Japanese maple in the Japanese Garden completely aflame in its autumn foliage

Since this is probably my single favorite tree within all the Butchart Gardens, let's take one more look at this majestic bonzaied maple, which may very well date to the early 1900's and Mr. Isaburo Kishida, designer of the Japanese Garden.


Butchart Garden 
Japanese Garden in Winter


A bare maple in the Japanese Garden in winter

It's always green in Butchart Gardens, even in winter, thanks to a ubiquitous blanket of moss. Even the tree trunks are touched with green moss, but in winter, the rest of the tree is bare. During the peacefulness of winter is when you can admire the structure of the trees and recognize the skill of the gardeners who tend to them.

Below: My favorite bonzai has a few dead leaves remaining in the crown. (Maintenance had drained the pond and was making repairs to the plumbing.)

A bare maple in Butchart Garden Japanese Garden in winter

Cities Near Butchart Gardens

Port Angeles is only 37.2 miles (59.9 km) south of Butchart Gardens, however requires a 90-minute Coho Ferry ride. Total transit time is likely to be approximately 2.5 hours. It's so worth it! 

But, if Port Angeles is not your starting point, then:

  • Victoria BC: 19.7 km (12.25 miles), approximately 26 minutes by car
  • Sidney BC: 15.6 km (9.7 miles), approximately 19 minutes by car
  • Vancouver BC: 103 km (64 miles), approximately 3.2 hours by ferry and car
  • Seattle: 120 miles (193 km), approximately 5 hours when traveling through Port Angeles and taking the Coho Ferry.

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