14. Japanese Garden
Here you will find a miniature world with mountains, forests, lakes and oceans. It is named Sui Ou Tei, a reflection of the national flowers of Japan and Wales – the cherry tree and daffodil.
The Real Japanese Garden was brought here piece by piece from the Chelsea 2001 Flower Show where it won a gold medal and the prestigious Best of Show Award. It consists of three traditional Japanese gardens – the Stream and Lake Garden, the Gravel Garden and the Tea Garden. Filled with symbolism and guided by Zen philosophy, this is a lovely place to sit and contemplate.
The Garden was designed by Professor Masao Fukuhara, a lecturer in design at Osaka University, and the Professor and his team came to NBGW to supervise the installation of the Japanese Garden alongside Wolfgang Bopp and his team of horticulturists and volunteers. It can be seen alongside the southern wall of the Double Walled Garden.
In building the Real Japanese Garden, Professor Fukuhara has hand-picked the natural materials he needs to recreate scaled-down Japanese scenery and areas of peace and harmony within the 568 acre Garden of Wales.
The Professor listens to the “voice” of each stone and places it precisely within the design according to its character and sexuality. Each element of the Garden is symbolic – an area of white gravel stones represents the sea, larger stones are small islands and waterfalls.
The Water Feature is an encapsulation of a Japanese landscape representing mountains, mountain stream and lake. The Tea House or ‘lori’ is also an important component.