Skip to Content

Kariya Park in Mississauga: A Beautiful Japanese Garden

Kariya Park is one of the most tranquil places amidst the bustling city of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. It is a peaceful Japanese garden that pays tribute to Kariya City in Japan, the twinned sister city to Mississauga. Kariya Garden is located centrally in the core of the city near Square One, the biggest shopping mall in the area.

However, you would hardly know you were near such a noisy and busy place when you step foot inside this calm and quiet park. We’re very fortunate to live just a short drive away in the village of Port Credit by Lake Ontario.

Posts may be sponsored. Post contains affiliate links. I may be compensated if you make a purchase using my link.

Kariya Park Mississauga

All About Kariya Park in Mississauga

Kariya Park officially opened in July 1992, celebrating the 11th year anniversary of the twin-city relationship between Mississauga and Kariya. Its design was a collaboration between Canadian and Japanese planners.

Kariya Garden near Toronto

The city planners in Mississauga wanted to ensure that the park would be authentically Japanese in its character and appearance. The Japanese garden pays attention to aesthetic, balance, and rhythm.

Visiting Kariya Park

Japanese Garden in Mississauga - Japanese Garden Near Toronto

Justin and I went to Kariya Park in the middle of May, hoping to see some cherry blossoms in bloom. Unfortunately, as we had such a harsh winter with some very severe snow storms, many of the flower buds did not survive.

Exploring Kariya Park and the Japanese Garden in Mississauga Ontario

While we didn’t get to view the cherry blossoms this year, we admired the beauty of the Japanese garden. Many trees and plants of Japanese origin adorn Kariya Park. These include Ginkgo (at the park’s entrance), Redbud, Sweetgum, Peonies, and Japanese Maple. The park’s entrance is lined with Kariya, Japan’s official city flower. Also, you’ll see the delicate purple Rabbit-Ear Iris, which blooms later in the season.

The Pavilion and Friendship Bell

The Pavilion at Kariya Park Mississauga

One of the focal points of the park is the Pavilion, a Japanese-style building with two sections – one each representing both Mississauga and Kariya, with the Friendship Bell located in the middle.

Kariya Park Friendship Bell

The Friendship Bell was cast in Japan and donated by Kariya City in the year 2001 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the twin-city relationship. This bronze bell is a symbol of friendship between the two cities that will last forever. There are iris flowers on the bell and the symbol of Kariya City. This includes a wild goose (Kari) about to take flight and a figure 8 (Ya), both symbolic of future development in the city. If you combine the two words (Kari and Ya), you get the name of the city – Kariya!

An inscription on the bell reads: “By welcoming the new century this bell is produced as a symbol of everlasting friendship between the City of Mississauga and the City of Kariya”.

Large Pond and Bridge

Parks in Mississauga - Day trip from Toronto

Directly in front of the Pavilion is a large pond with a bridge crossing over it. There are many animals that live in the pond, including Canada Geese, ducks, fish, and even turtles! While we didn’t get to see any turtles, but we saw geese and ducks swimming around and resting on the rocks.

Duck at Kariya Park in Mississauga
Canada geese in Mississauga

South Pond and Woodland

In this area, you will see water cascading down the rocks into a small pond shaded by many large trees. You can continue walking down the path into a shady, wooded area which is incredibly green with woodland plants and ferns. This is a great place to go for a little walk, relax, and take in the beautiful scenery around you.

Japanese garden in Mississauga

Friendship Between Two Cities

Near the front entrance of the park, there is a plaque to commemorate the friendship between the two cities. Up close, you can see a photo collage of citizens from Mississauga and Kariya. Kariya Park celebrates this special connection between Mississauga and Kariya, Japan.

Friendship between Mississauga and Kariya, Japan
Friendship between Mississauga and Kariya, Japan

And when you look from far away, you can see that the photos come together to create one single image representing the Japanese festival in Kariya, Mando Matsuri. Mando Matsuri is a festival that has been celebrated for more than 200 years by residents of Kariya, Japan.

The “Mando” are huge, colorful, paper lanterns. People from all over the city hold the Mando for the God of the Akiba Shrine to pray for rain. It’s a magnificent sight to witness the massive, bright, and beautiful Mando floating across the summer sky.

Friendship between Mississauga and Kariya, Japan

Where to See Cherry Blossoms in Mississauga

A couple of weeks later towards the end of May, I returned to Kariya Park by myself. Unfortunately, Justin was at work. I thought that there might be some possibilities for cherry blossom sightings. Usually, the cherry blossoms in Mississauga bloom around the second week of May. It seemed that everything was blooming later in the season this year.

Cherry blossoms in Mississauga - Cherry blossoms in Ontario - Cherry blossoms in Toronto
Cherry blossoms in Mississauga - Cherry blossoms in Ontario - Cherry blossoms in Toronto

The trees inside the park did not produce any blooms this year. But, there was one tree outside of the park gates that had cherry blossoms in full bloom. I saw them just in time as the blossoms were at their peak. I wish Justin could have been there to see the cherry blossoms with me, but there’s always next year!

Plan Your Visit to Kariya Park

Kariya Garden Mississauga

To see pictures of Mississauga Park in Kariya, Japan, please visit the Mississauga Friendship Association website. It includes features like a large maple leaf structure, a log cabin, a replica of Mississauga’s Civic Centre, and a sculpture of a bear riding in a canoe. How Canadian!

Japanese garden near Toronto
Kariya Park Mississauga Ontario

Kariya Park is open daily from 7:00am to 9:00pm, and there are places to park your car on the street (Kariya Drive). These spots are limited and there is a small parking fee, so you might be able to park at Square One Shopping Mall and walk over. Garden pathways are not cleared in the winter months, so access may be limited during those times.

Kariya Park Mississauga Ontario
Kariya Park Mississauga Ontario

Thinking about going for lunch or tea after your visit to Kariya Park? The Vegetarian Tea House at the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple in Mississauga is the perfect choice! If you’re interested in doing some more scenic walks or hikes in the city, check out the top 10 hiking trails in Mississauga.

Follow Justin Plus Lauren:
Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Join our Travel Community

Do you have a favorite park in your hometown?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Reza Khan

Wednesday 4th of May 2022

Are there any cherry blossoms in the park yet?


Saturday 1st of May 2021

I had so much fun at this park. The cherry blossoms are absolutely beautiful . The atmosphere is relaxing and amusing. I immediately felt happy and excited when I saw the pink cherry blossoms, cute ducks, and pond. It was a place worth visiting.

Mary {The World Is A Book}

Friday 13th of June 2014

I love Japanese gardens and this one is a beauty. What a peaceful place to stroll around and relax. I'm glad you went back for the cherry blossoms. That picture is great! It's always great to be a tourist in your hometown. There's a reason people come to visit it after all. Our favorite is Balboa Park here in San Diego.

Justin and Lauren

Sunday 15th of June 2014

It is very peaceful and would be a great place to just relax and even read a book!

Becky Padmore

Friday 13th of June 2014

Looks very zen! I love places like this, great photos too!

Justin and Lauren

Sunday 15th of June 2014

It is a really nice little park with some character, too! A peaceful place in the city.


Thursday 12th of June 2014

I love Japanese gardens, and this one looks really lovely! I also love the 'being a tourist in your own town' thing. There are so many places I want to visit in the UK, and even in London (my hometown), every time I go back, there are new things to discover. It's so easy to overlook these things that are so close to home - glad you're taking full advantage of them!

Justin and Lauren

Sunday 15th of June 2014

I like exploring areas of our town that we haven't visited before - it's a lot of fun, especially when we can't be traveling about to foreign destinations! I also hope it's helpful for anyone else who's looking for things to do around here, if they're visiting or if they live here! I'd love to explore London sometime too! that would be amazing.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.