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Japanese Garden

All elements in this garden are balanced to create a feeling of serenity
Photo: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Claude Lafond)

Entering a Japanese Garden is a way of returning to an environment in which people can find peace and harmony, away from the rapid pace of modern life.

In this garden of 2,5 hectares all elements are balanced to create a feeling of serenity. Each tree, each shrub, each stone has been carefully chosen and placed.

The pathways lead the visitors through settings of peonies, rhododendrons, irises, crab-apple trees and numerous perennials.

Everything in this meditative place has a symbolic significance. A pond and a series of cascades and springs express life and renewal.

The architect of the garden

This contemporary garden, designed by Ken Nakajima, is inspired by the traditional art of Japanese landscaping. Stone, water and plants combine to produce a pure, simple environment in which every element is imbued with symbolism. Its sinuous lines create a pervading sense of harmony, offering many different vistas and the certainty of new discoveries. The attentive care that such a garden requires is simply a way of celebrating the beauty of nature, for which the Japanese have profound respect. The Japanese Garden, created with the support of the governments of Japan, Canada and Québec, the City of Montréal and several Japanese companies, opened on June 28, 1988.

The Montréal Botanical Garden is proud to present to its thousands of visitors this magnificent Japanese Garden and Pavilion, which are a true reflection of Japanese art and culture.

The state of mind

A visit to the Japanese Garden requires an open mind and spirit. Visitors should go right to its heart; to meditate, to collect their thoughts, to feel and touch the beauty of the stone, water, plants and various architectural elements which make up the garden. It is a place where the slow-moving carp or "Koi" float in the shade of broad-leaved water lilies as if contemplating the sun's reflection or the rain on the multicoloured stones or even, as if they were listening to the gurgling waters, laughing as they spill over artfully arranged cascades.

Early-risers may surprise great blue Heron as well as red-winged blackbirds and other fine feathered friends at their morning toilet. Each season, like each time of day, has moments of intense beauty which wait only to be captured by lovers of art and nature.

A pavilion for the Japanese Garden

A visit to the Japanese Garden wouldn't be complete without a short stop at the cultural pavilion designed by architect Hisato Hiraoka.

Walking through the exhibition halls, visitors will marvel at various works of art which are a timeless expression of the history and refinement of Japanese culture.

Through the tea ritual, focal point of the pavilion, visitors are soon swept away to an oasis of peace and harmony where each movement is an expression of grace and beauty.

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