A lovely Japanese themed garden in Canberra
I came across this park whilst visiting the Chinese Gardens here in Canberra. All you have to do is continue walking from the Chinese Gardens and you in the gardens. You can’t really miss them and whilst they are very small they are lovely to walk through especially on a sunny day with views across Lake Burley Griffin.
The gardens were a gift from the people of the ancient city of Nara in Japan to the people of Canberra and celebrate the sister city link between Canberra and Nara. Design and construction was carried out by local designers and contractors who consulted closely with the city of Nara and the Embassy of Japan.
You can enter through a large traditional wooden gate…
And walk along beautiful paved pathways…
Whilst enjoying a number of iconic cherry blossom trees. The planting scheme is mostly trees, groundcover plantings and specimen shrubs. The trees include twenty-four cherry blossoms, four Crepe Myrtles, ten Japanese Maples, and one Japanese Red Pine. Shrubs include Japanese Lily of the Valley, one of Japan’s earliest spring bloomers which is still the most common shrub grown in the city of Nara’s parks because the deer will not eat it.
Central to the park is the eight-metre tall pagoda, crafted by a Japanese sculptor. It stands as a miniature replica of Empress Komyoh’s towering pagoda, which was erected in Nara in 725AD. Other structures within the park are two large tōrōs, or Japanese lanterns, which weigh five and three tonnes respectively. And the World Peace Bell… The 350-kilo brass bell came from Japan and is a replica of the peace bell at the United Nations headquarters in New York. Its design includes 103 coins from nations of the UN.
The bell will usually be rung annually on World Peace Day in September. That date also coincides with the opening day of the United Nations General Assembly, and national and international days of remembrance and celebration.And the final structure is a ‘Toku‘ which was commissioned to celebrate the 1300th anniversary of Nara. The sculpture has three main elements: A five-storied pagoda form which represents Canberra; a floating stone representing Nara; and the form of a small bird symbolising peace. The bird resembles a Latham’s Snipe, a species which migrates annually between Japan and Canberra (long way to go!!). A really lovely place to visit and enjoy the peacefulness and beauty.