From the prison camp we drove to the Japanese gardens. Ken Nakajima was invited to Cowra to choose a site and to design the garden. When he saw the site he though he had been guided by divine providence. He said ‘it must be a reward for the good deeds performed by the citizens of Cowra.” The gardens are set over 5 hectares. The Cowra gardens were Mr Nakajima’s favourite outside Japan and his ashes are buried it the grounds.
After the sadness of the camp it was lovely to walk around the peaceful setting. When we paid for our tickets Adrian purchased some fish come duck food. With food in hand we walked thought the gates into a different world.
We were greeted with a small form of the peace bell. This one we didn’t ring.
Then it was straight to the fishpond. The Koi were use to being feed and pushed and shoved as only fish can to get their piece. Not to be left out the ducks came for their share. Adrian saved some of the food for later. We didn’t want to spoil their dinner.
The gardens have been designed in the ‘Kaiyushiki’ style, which means strolling. Each spring the gardens hold Sakura Matsuri (a Cherry Blossom festival.) It was a shame we were too early for the festival. I could only imagine what colour the garden would bring. As we strolled little birds jumped around the flowerbeds. It was a lovely tranquil setting.
The garden has a direction dial. It made me think of home, we were only 4,380k away. Not far really. (Hello to all my family back home, miss you all.)
We made it to the top of the hill and looked down. Even though the hill wasn’t very high it did give a wonderful view. (The hill is said to represent Mount Fuji.) Seats have been set up around the garden so people can sit back and enjoy.
When we came down the other side we walked past a little waterfall. I set my camera up so I could take one of those lovely water shots, where the water looks like it is the breath of angels. I don’t like to think of it as being a failure but more of an artistic shot.
It took us about 2 hours to arrive back at the start. We had tip toe our way past some sleeping ducks. Climbed another hill. Watched some pink and grey gala at a social meeting and some Eastern Rosella playing hide and seek.
We strolled past, if I remember correctly, a sun calendar. Slightly different to what I am used to.
Then we passed some more small waterfalls and to the viewing platform over looking the lake.
We started to feed the Koi again, and again the ducks came for their share.
This time the ducks were smarter. They decided to made friends with us. Coming closer. Not close enough to be hand fed but close enough to look you in the eye and give you a puppy dog begging look. They tried to look cute and it worked. I think they had done this before.
After the gardens we walked though the culture centre. It was filled with colour. Silks and dolls, weapons and helmets decorated the walls. When we turned to leave we saw the Zen Garden. What a lovely way to end the day.