Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mount Coot-tha - Japanese Garden

Japanese Garden

Designed by one of Japan's leading traditional Japanese garden proponents the late Kenzo Ogata (his last work), the garden is faithful to Japanese Garden design concepts, and uses Australian trees, native shrubs and flowers.

The Japan Pond and Garden was re-located from the Japanese Government Pavilion at Brisbane's World Expo '88, and was opened after the conclusion of the Expo on 6 February 1989 through the work of the Brisbane Lord Mayor Sallyanne Atkinson and Nichahiro Hanamura, the chair of the Japan Association for the Expo. A commemorative dedication plaque from Brisbane City Council and the Japan Association for the 1988 Leisure Exposition and a welcome gate with calligraphy on a dedication tablet above the gate by then Prime Minister of Japan Noboru Takeshita greets visitors to the Garden at the entrance to the Garden. The Japanese calligraphy is engraved in gold, dedicating the name of the garden 'yu-tsui-en’. This literally translates to ‘enjoy, blue-green, garden’ and simply means ‘Come in to this garden and enjoy the blue of the water and green of the trees’.

The theme of the garden ‘tsuki-yama-chisen’ or ‘mountain-pond-stream’ is reflected in the water feature of the garden. Another feature which is not to be forgotten is just as special as the previous; the stone ‘tsukabai’ or water bowl. It is more than 100 years old and is used to ‘provide running water needed in the purification ritual that occurs before the tea ceremony’. The most captivating feature of the garden is the stones which create the mountain. These stones of the waterfall suggest ‘endurance and the eternal passing of time’.

In 2005 a clump of bamboo flowered just outside the gates to the Japanese Garden. Bamboo flowering is very rare and many bamboo enthusiasts go their whole lives without ever witnessing such an event. As is often the case after bamboo flowers, this plant died and was replaced with another specimen.

An annual Japan Cultural Festival is held at the Garden in September, featuring Japanese tea ceremony, Japanese calligraphy and ikebana flower displays.

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