Opened in 1985, Adelaide Himeji Gardens is located on South Terrace and was constructed to serve as a symbol of friendship between Adelaide and its sister city, the Japanese city of Himeji. Visitors are advised not to damage the various features and plants, or walk on the gravelled areas when exploring the garden.
Befitting the garden taking its name from a Japanese city, the garden is built in the Japanese style that typically focuses on representing natural settings. A prominent feature upon entering the garden is the large pond and waterfall, serving to represent purity and tranquillity of the heart. Close to it is a stone lantern with the twelve members of the Chinese zodiac carved into it.
The various plants planted throughout the garden give it a tranquil feel, with some symbolising certain aspects. The Black Pine tree symbolises courage in adversity and immortality due to its long lifespan and not shedding leaves during the cooler months. There are also various water features such as the Shishi-odoshi, deer scarer in Japanese, which was originally developed by farmers to scare away deer. There is also a well-like structure that serves as a means to provide pure water for tea ceremonies.
At the back of the garden is a striking type of garden known as a kare-senzui or Japanese rock garden. It consists of a bed of gravel raked in a fashion to symbolise ripples of water with rocks serving to represent mountains or islands. A wooden structure at the back provides a good viewpoint for visitors to admire the rock garden while seated.
Kare-senzui Garden (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Entry into the garden is free, allowing visitors to easily visit when they want somewhere peaceful to pass some time. Tours for a group of a size of at least ten people can be organised by calling the Park Lands ranger at 8203 7483.