Himeji Garden, Adelaide
The Himeji Garden commemorates the agreement on 19 April 1982 between the cities of Adelaide and Himeji to become sister cities. Gardens are places of contemplation for many Japanese people, and this garden contains features which have religious significance. The gate is modelled on a temple. Nearby is a water bowl in which visitors may purify themselves.
The garden blends two classic styles: the ‘senzui’ or lake and mountain garden and the ‘kare senzui’ or dry garden where rocks and sand evoke the presence of water. Look out for the bamboo deer-scarer. This is a bamboo tube which gradually fills with water until it is horizontal and then tips up and empties itself, causing one end to hit a rock, making a noise.
Open from 8.00 a.m to 5.30 p.m. 7 days a week (closing at 4.30 on weekends and public holidays during the winter months). Admission is free.
I am always taken by the peace and tranquility of Japanese Gardens and this garden on the southern flanks of Adelaide proved to be no different though it is smaller than most I have visited before.
The main part of the garden is beautifully laid out around a small lake (senzui area of the garden) which serves as a centre piece to areas of beautiful flowers, plants, shrubbery and small lawns where you can just lie down and enjoy the tranquility, broken only by the gurgling water as it moves in the small lake - keep your eye peeled for the tortoises.
In the far corner (kare senzui area) there is a very plain though elegant thatched timber tea-house represented by an open pavilion akin to the porch of a Zen temple where you can sit down and look out over the sea of sand – a raked white gravel area punctuated by small rocks – and imagine the vastness of the real sea with its islands and continents.
As you enter the garden, on your left hand site you will come across a beautiful granite Okunoin lantern which was presented by the ancient City of Himeji following it and Adelaide becoming sister cities on 19 April 1992. The Japanese inscription on the lantern reads: “For the friendship of the two cities”.
This is a really great spot for a break from a busy touring schedule or a half hours quiet contemplation just to recall the beauty of nature – highly recommended. Quiet picnics are permitted so take your lunch along. There is plenty of shade.
Everything in here has meaning so be sure to pick up an interpretative brochure from the stand just inside the entrance.
8am - 5.30pm seven days per week except for a 4.30pm closure on weekends and public holidays during April to September.
South Terrace, between Pulteney and Hutt Streets
The Garden was relatively close to where I was staying so it made sense for me and my gang to pay it a visit.
Opened in 1985 and located on South Terrace, the Garden contains features which are of profound religious significance to the Japanese people. The Garden was built to symbolise the bonds of friendship between the City of Adelaide and the Himeji Region of Japan. In 1982, the 2 cities became sister cities.
The Garden blends two classic styles: The 'senzui' or lake and mountain garden where there is real water and and the 'kare senzui' or dry garden where rocks and sand evoke the presence of water, even the sea itself.
It was a really lovely place as my gang spent about 45 minutes there. Very Zen; and very quiet. It was as if the slightest of noise will shatter the fragility of the serenity.
My favourite spot was at the lake. Water was trickling from various viaducts, creating an environment as if all the water had been transformed into crickets and they were humming to each other in a most sensuous way. Sit on a chair and let your imagination runs wild...or set aside your frustrations and place it down so that you may never again retrieve it.
There are 13 points of interests:
1) Gatehouse, 2) Okunoin Lantern, 3) The Lake, 4)Lanterns, 5) Pine trees, 6) Milestone, 7) Deer Scarer, 8) Teahouse, 9) Sea Of Sand, 10) Well, 11) Mountain, 12) Stepping Stones & 13) Perspective Stones.
The lake had amazingly blackish water though but it made for great photography as it reflected the blueness of the sky gorgeously.
Entry is FREE.
Open daily 0800-1730, including public holidays.
For guided tours of the Garden, you may contact the Park Lands Ranger at 61-8-82037483.
The Garden blends two classic styles. the 'senzui' (lake and mountain garden) where the imagination endows the small pond with vastness and grandeur.
The second is the 'kare senzui' (dry garden) where rocks and sand evoke the presence of water, even the sea itself.
Mon - Fri: 8.00 to one hour before sunset
Sat: 8.00 to one hour before sunset
Sun: 8.00 to one hour before sunset