If you are planning to visit Toowoomba, make sure you allow enough time to visit the stunning Japanese Garden. Located on the northern side of the University of Southern Queensland campus, the garden is a joint project between the University and the local City Council.
Named Ju Raku En, which loosely translates to long life in a public garden, by its designer, Professor Kinsaku Nakane, it is the largest traditionally designed Japanese garden in Australia.
Its elements include a mountain stream and waterfall, azalea hill, dry garden and central lake which features three islands. It showcases some 230 species of Japanese and Australian Natives, 3 kilometres of paths and wide open spaces to rest and relax.
The design of the garden encompasses Buddhist legend – the rock island at the centre of the garden represents Mt Sumeru which is the centre of the Buddhist Universe, and the remaining two islands are where the immortals dwell, the lake represents the celestial sea, the outer edges of the lake the material world, and the bridges offer the chance to make a symbolic journey to paradise!
Whether or not you believe in the legend, there is no doubt that the garden provides a wonderful piece of tranquillity where you can shelter from everyday life. It is popular with visitors and locals alike, whether for a casual stroll or a place to sit and contemplate.
Toowoomba's changing seasons and the clever design mean that each season offers a truly unique experience in the garden.