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Adelaide Himeji Japanese Garden, South Australia

Just inside the gate is this water bowl (Chozubachi).
Just inside the gate is this water bowl
(Chozubachi) where visitors can purify
themselves by washing their hands and
adopting a humble kneeling altitude.
On our weekend away the main thing my partner, Enigma, wanted to see was the Himeji Japanese Garden in the parklands along South Terrace, Adelaide CBD. Fortunately it was less than five minutes walk, just up the road from Hotel Alba, where we were staying.

I don't know much about even my own garden, other than how to cut the lawns and hack away branches when things become over grown. Oh... and to add water during the Summer... so I'm just going to reproduce the first three paragraphs about the Himeji Garden taken from the sign near the entrance:

About Himeji Garden

Himeji Garden celebrates the Sister City relationship between Adelaide an the ancient Japanese city of Himeji. Situated 480 kilometres south-west from Tokyo, Himeji is renowned for the oldest wooden castle in Japan registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983.

Opened in 1985, the garden is designed on Japanese garden principles but with adaptation to the Adelaide climate and plant availability.

Two classic Japanese garden styles are combined here - the 'senzul' - a lake and mountain garden where water and the imagination create images of vastness and grandeur, and the 'kare senzul' - a dry garden where rocks and sand evoke the presence of water, even the sea itself.

The main lake is the center piece of the garden.
The main lake, the 'senzul', is the center piece of the garden. Watch for turtles!

Walking Around the Garden

Free to enter, how much time you spend here will likely depend on how engaging you find the space to be. It's not a large garden by any stretch so a casual stroll through, stopping to admire the various picturesque vantage points is probably not going to take much more than 30 minutes at most.

The peaceful nature of the garden is emphasised to be respected so if you're looking for a quite place to meditate and enjoy the sounds of the waterfall, and nature, then you'll be rewarded.

The Sea of Sand, the 'kare senzul'.
The Sea of Sand, the 'kare senzul'.

It's an especially good space for photography with almost every angle likely to be a good photo. No doubt the photos I took while in the garden are probably ones that have been taken by many visitors... including you, if you go. They're just too good not to take.

Honestly, for me it was mostly a photo opportunity. For Enigma I think it was a little more of a spiritual experience, which you definitely get a sense of, in the same way you would if you walked into a religious building or space.

Either way it is worth a special visit just to experience. Tours can also be arranged if you'd really like a more detailed appreciation of the garden and how it came to be.

Lawn area.
Although the garden has this spacious lawn area I suspect it's a space for more meditative
pursuits like Tai-Chi or Yoga because weddings are not permitted.


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