Home Destinations Winter Lights Festival at Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens, Lethbridge

Winter Lights Festival at Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens, Lethbridge

by Karen Ung
“Can we ring the bell one more time, Mom? Please?!” my girls chime in unison. It’s not every day you can ring a bronze bell taller than you. We give them the okay and they scramble up the stairs to push the shu-moku (suspended wooden beam) towards the Friendship Bell. Upon contact, a sonorous bong reverberates through the gardens, and then another… and a few more.

Michelle Day, Executive Director of Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens, smiles as she’s seen it before. Even adults can’t resist the bell which was commissioned specifically for the gardens and cast in Kyoto. She recommends we come back on Joya No Kane (New Year’s Eve), when Buddhist monks will ring the bell 108 times – to rid people of worldly desires accumulated throughout the year.

Read the full story at FestivalSeekers.com:
Bask in the festive glow of the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens

#ExperienceTheFriendship at Nikka Yuko

Bell tones and giggling aside, the gardens are quiet. Michelle is giving us a sneak peek of Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden’s Winter Lights Festival before it opens to the public. As the girls flick the lights on, they exclaim how different the gardens look in winter… and “how pretty!”

Mount Fuji at Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens

It has taken Michelle’s team of 8 over 600 hours to hang 10,000 lights (and more are yet to be put up) in a dazzling array. More than pretty lights however, the festival is a cultural experience where you can celebrate The Emperor’s Birthday or Joya No Kane (New Year’s Eve Bell Ringing Ceremony), learn about Japanese traditions, and savor Japanese treats. Enjoy a Sleigh Ride, free with paid admission, on special dates too!

Tag your Romance Tree photos with #RomanceAtNikkaYuko!

The 2nd Annual Winter Lights Festival runs from December 1, 2018 to January 26, 2019 at the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens. Stay for the weekend for more winter fun in Lethbridge!

Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens Panoramic Shot
This is a sneak peek when 70% of lights were up.

Where to Stay

Lethbridge is home to a wide range of family friendly adventures; Nikka’s Winter Light Festival or not, the folks @ VisitLethbridge.com make it easy to book a place to stay.

The Coast Lethbridge Hotel and Conference Centre’s Winter Lights Package includes two free tickets to the festival. Book your stay here: Coast Lethbridge – Winter Lights Package

Read MORE about our weekend in Lethbridge at FestivalSeekers: 

For More Information

To learn more about the Winter Lights Festival, visit Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens – Events Calendar.
For more fun things to do in Lethbridge, check out VisitLethbridge.com or read our story: Winter Fun in Lethbridge.

Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens Winter Lights Festival
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Thank you to Visit Lethbridge, Travel Alberta and FestivalSeekers for making this trip happen! All words and opinions are my own.

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