The Nikkei Garden was built by Vancouver Japanese Gardeners Association members in 2000, completed in the middle of April. The Japanese Gardeners Association provided a great amount of labour work during the three month construction period. According to Nick Sueyoshi, member of VJGA and Yoshi Landscaping, the concept of the Nikkei Garden is to harmonize two countries(Canada and Japan) in one garden. The pond in the middle represents the pacific ocean. By each side of the pond, Canada and Japan are separated and are gathered around the pond. The east side of the garden represents Canada and Japan is represented by the west side. Most plants grown on the east side of the pond, such as spruce, larch, vine, and maple, are native to Canada. On the west side of the pond, there are mostly Japanese plants.
Most Japanese plants were donated by Japanese Canadians from the lower mainland areas. In order to plant them in the garden, in many cases, members of VJGA went to donors' gardens and dug out plants by using a crane to lift them up. You will be surprised to find there are more Japanese plants(such as Japanese black pine, Japanese maple, camellia, and rhododendron) than Canadian plants in the garden. This is because most of the trees people donated are Japanese plants.
According to Nick, the pond and the stone wall's base are built by concrete then the waterfall rocks are carefully positioned on the concrete. The shape of the stonewall surrounding north of the pond is reflecting the oval shape of the centre’s building wall. The pond was not designed to keep fish in it but after constructed, people who live near the garden voluntarily put goldfish and koi fish in it.
The garden is being maintained by a gardening company which is one of the association's members.
Credits: Nick Sueyoshi, member of the Japanese Gardeners Association and Yoshi Landscaping Kaiwen Yang, Museum Communications Management Apprentice of Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre