Giant Chess at Nagoya Gardens, Hyde Park

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Posted 2013-03-30 by Paulinefollow

Located at the northern end of Hyde Park, between Elizabeth street (St James station entrance) and the famous Archibald Fountain, Nagoya Gardens isn't hard to miss, especially due to the presence of a giant chess set. However, the signage of the garden is hidden inside so passers-by might not realise it's called Nagoya Garden.

The garden was erected to celebrate the sister city relationship between Sydney and Nagoya in Japan. Some of the interesting features in the garden include a set of magnificent stone lanterns presented to City of Sydney by Nagoya. It also incorporates various plants in the garden which have cultural significance to Japanese people. For example, pine tree symbolise long life, a plum tree represents gracefulness and bamboo is a sign of vitality.

A giant chess set and a chess board was installed near the garden under a big fig tree for the public to play. I've seen lunch crowd on weekdays where office workers take respite in the park by playing a game or two. At times people would swing by to make a move and leave the next move to another person who stop by. The chess set also attracts some elderly men to make their moves and some were seen deep in thought, strategising their next move.

As my friends and I walked past the garden a few weeks ago on a Sunday morning, there was no crowd but only a group of men playing their own chess game by the side.

We decided give it a try and I must say that we had more fun than the conventional table set chess game. Perhaps it's the effort to move the chess pieces around that makes it interesting.

The giant chess set is available daily for players' enjoyment from 8.30am to 4.30pm. I would recommend to go early if you prefer less people and enjoy the fresh air in the morning. After a game, why not head over to the cafe nearby for a hearty breakfast or a cup of coffee.

214769 - 2023-06-16 07:08:20


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