A writer sharing travels, experiences, a love of festivals & events. Life is a journey and I hope to inspire others. Visit my blog at https://www.travelwithirenke.blogspot.com
On the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, sits Lennox Gardens with its grassy open spaces, towering trees and shrubs. It's also home to two landscaped gifts from China and Japan – The Beijing Garden and Canberra Nara Peace Park – celebrating the sister-city links of Canberra, Beijing and Japan's ancient capital, Nara.
A river of lights weaves its way around the gardens
The Nara Peace Park is also home to an annual candle festival that further celebrates the relationship between Canberra and Nara. Thousands of shimmering lights are once again set to glow across the park come the end of October, symbolising the strength and importance of the connection of these cities with shared values of peace and goodwill. Lit at dusk by festival volunteers, the candles are a sight to behold with the picturesque river of light weaving its way around the gardens.
Adding to the centrepiece of candlelight beauty is a range of both Australian and Japanese arts and crafts activities that visitors can enjoy. Try your hand at calligraphy and origami, or perhaps some lantern making, Japanese stencil art or furoshiki (the art of Japanese fabric wrapping) are more to your liking.
Japanese martial arts demo and Yo-Yo Fishing with water balloons (a popular Japanese children's scooping game)
Watch martial arts demonstrations, drumming and cultural entertainment as you savour Japanese food and beverages. You can also enjoy kimono dress-up or play traditional Japanese games at the Embassy Tent.
There's plenty of market stalls to stroll through as well at this free event on from 4pm-9pm. Be sure to arrive before dusk to take in all the features of the park, from the cherry blossom and maple trees to a wisteria pergola, traditional Japanese wooden gates, a pagoda, stone lanterns and a peace bell, along with gorgeous views of Black Mountain and the Brindabella Ranges.