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Miyazu Gardens


Atawhai Drive, Atawhai, Nelson

A little slice of Japan offering a quiet place for a stroll or a spot of contemplation.

The Miyazu Garden celebrates Nelson's relationship with its Japanese sister city. As soon as you walk through the gate made from old timber recycled from the port, the street noise is screened out with an immediate feeling of enclosure. Still reflective ponds, trickling bamboo spouts and melodic cascades enhance the sense of serenity. Doing a circuit of the garden from the entrance you come first to the Dragon Pond, overhung by Jim's Pine, a weathered and windswept 30 year old bonsai.

The peninsula symbolises the Boulder Bank which is a landscape feature similar to Miyazu¹s Amanohashidate. The contrasting textures of foliage, wood, water and rock pull the whole picture together.

Following the stepping stones towards the pondside pavilion you pass a stone basin used for ritual cleansing before the tea ceremony. The large flat stone beside the deck is called a shoe removing stone.

Crossing the three plank bridge, listen for the sound of the shishi odoshi, a kinetic fountain - originally used in gardens to keep wild animals out.

Don¹t miss the view towards the century old camellia tree and rocky shoreline.

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