The pagoda style entrance to the Adelaide-Himeji Gardens is a clear indicator to just how different the gardens contained inside are to the rest of the Adelaide Parklands. While many of our beautiful green spaces appear to be modelled after grand British or French gardens, entering this sanctuary reveals a world of its own.
The Adelaide-Himeji Gardens were opened in 1985, and were a gift from the Japanese city of Himeji to symbolise the connection between these two sister cities. The Japanese style gardens were co-designed by the Adelaide City Council and a Japanese landscape designer, and it has changed over time to reflect traditional aspects of these gardens.
You enter the gardens from the Northern side, where you have the option of picking up a brochure. While the brochures will give you detailed information about each important aspect of the gardens, it is worth taking multiple walks to fully take in the scenery. The gardens are small, and do not take very long to make your way through. You follow a paved path, but can choose your own direction through the path, making sure you make use of the large pebbles that act as viewing platforms for some of the garden's more striking features.
Take your time to sit and contemplate in the Teahouse, where you can sit in the timber and thatch area to watch over the sea of sand. Also known as 'Kate-senzui' the Sea of Sand show the traditional Japanese art of raked sand. This sand, scattered with rocks, is designed so that as you sit and stare over it you can image the vast oceans and seas, and the islands that call them home.
You can also enjoy the large lake that sits in the middle of the gardens. Here water runs down the small waterfall, creating the peaceful sound that follows you through the gardens. The Adelaide-Himeji gardens feel cut off from the outside world that surrounds them, with a large hedge surrounding the gardens and the sound of the water helping to drown out the cars from the outside streets.
If you're in the city this can be a great place to relax and unwind after a busy day shopping or a stressful day of work. Take the children here for an educational and enjoyable walk, where they can learn about another culture. You can even choose to take a guided walk through the gardens, just contact the Parklands Ranger on 82037483 to arrange a time. There is a real feeling of peace as you make your way through the garden, and it is a worthwhile stop when you're next in the city.
Brochures are available at the entrance, but if you'd like to print one out before you go you can get one here.