You always hear how beautiful this place is and how many people who have been there recommend it. Well, I need to reinforce that! I never really cared about going because I wasn’t into seeing flowers when I was younger, so I didn’t appreciate this place.
Obviously when I matured, I realized I missed out on seeing a Canadian National treasure, if not an American (North America) gem that was in my backyard (when I lived in Seattle).
My wife has been planning to see this and we wanted to do it as a whole family (with her sister and brother). After planning a weekend trip, we went there via BC Ferries (the only way I think).
Summer in the Butchart Gardens is probably the best time. But they do have some months in autumn too.
Parking was plentiful (at least when we arrived) and there were umbrellas available (if it was raining) to use.
We walked to the entrance and paid the fees:
Adult – $33.80
Children 5 – 12 yrs old -$3.00 (which is our kids)
The Sunken Garden was my favorite. Just the history in it and the layout.
The Japanese garden was pretty cool because there were Torii Gates around and within a ton of trees, so it kept the area cool and shaded. Small bridges and stone walkways on water.
I can’t recommended this place enough. If you are in Victoria, this is the main attraction.
After I left Takamatsu, I headed straight to Fukuoka. I was excited as I was hoping to meet with my friends from last time.
Unfortunately, everyone was busy. Even my friends in Kumamoto were busy (one of them was in the hospital for being sick).
Even though I was crushed, I took the time to explore Fukuoka on foot. I walked to Canal City and checked out Kawabata Shopping arcade.
I walked a few blocks to JR Hakata station. In all honesty, I was blown away how huge Hakata station. I’ve only seen it from the inside mainly, but coming from the outside.. how it is huge. I was talking with Mitch (Showa Elite) and I trying to see if we can schedule something with Misaki-san and others… but it didn’t work out.
So I continued exploring.
Having missed a religious site in Kyoto, I did visit a Shinto Shrine here in Fukuoka.
Reisen Crane Shrine and Kushida Shrine Shinmon
It was night time, but it was a Friday night, people were out having a good time and the food stalls were packed!
I walked around til about 230am. I really loved exploring Fukuoka. I just love this place!
After the meeting, Okuni-san took me to the nearby station where I would get on and transfer to the Shinkansen. I would stop by Mishima station where I would meet my aunt again. I had stuff that have been left at her place and I wanted to get it all.
It was definitely a pain to carry back to Yokohama (flying out of Haneda).
What was worse is that the capsule hotel, I was looking forward to enjoying, turned me down due to my tattoo (barely showing).
So I had to stay at another hotel for the night, which was better anyway. I had to repack stuff.
Here are my basic recommendations in no particular order:
1: Capilano Suspension Bridge. Located in North Vancouver, you will drive up a what feels like an neighborhood main road and the you will see parking on the right side. This has definitely changed from my last visit which was in 2012 (these are from 2007). Tickets are $47. It can get crowded, but the attraction itself has expanded to have a cliff walk component to it.
2. Grouse mountain. On the same road that takes you to Capilano, maybe another 15mins, you will arrive at Grouse Mountain. Parking is $8 for all day. Taking the lift to the top is $65 per adult. There are many activities to do while there. Hiking trails, zip lining, Eye of the Wind, (certain times +$15 per person),
But the great thing about this, if it is clear, is the view of Vancouver BC if it is clear Summer of 07.
3. Lynn Canyon. The other suspension bridge is Lynn Canyon. It is also in North Vancouver.
This is also a good hike and the water from the stream is clear. Other things include 30ft pool, Twin falls trail, and a nice stair climb as well. from 2015.
4. Continuing with North Vancouver, going more east, you will come upon Cates park. This is where you can rent kayaks and paddle boards. It’s a park where people love to bbq or have lunch.
5. Further up the road is Deep Cove. I feel this place can be busy, but it is nice. There is a small shopping area coming in (which features some nice local gift shops), but also a place to relax and do water sports.
The outside of Stanley Park is like a circle for biking and driving. Walks are absolutely gorgeous and there are some beaches that when it is nice, people are out and about.
8. After exiting Stanley Park, you can head to the west end. English bay and Sunset beach are great places to stroll and enjoy. Once you get near Hornsby, there are a few places to eat.
9. on the opposite side of the west end, is Gas town. I haven’t gone there in years as far as night time because it is a where people like to party and drink. It might have changed since then, but I am unsure.
11. Even within some of the neighborhoods are community centres. While it might not sound appealing, many of the community centres there are pretty big and offer many things such as indoor pools and even classes in various subjects. Just in case you wanted to spend the morning swimming.
I feel this is a good experience. Of the freeway between Richmond and Vancouver BC you cannot miss it as it has lights and there used to be a big yellow duck. $4.25 to get in. I believe it is in the evenings only.
I was always told that the dragon’s beard, crispy wonton tacos and strawberry rice cakes are the good things to eat.
If you are wanting to see some scenery and what not, I suggest heading out East. Chilliwack has the Bridal Veil Falls and just further is Othello tunnels.
Ferry to Vancouver Island.
If you want to Visit Victoria (and Nanaimo), which is on Vancouver island, you will have to take a ferry or by flight. I haven’t gone that way as the ferry is a 4 hour ride each way. By plane it is 35 minutes. There is a lot to see in Vancouver island, so people say dedicate a day or 2 to spend there.
Food is great in Vancouver BC and surrounding areas.