The garden, designed by Professor Masao Fukuhara, Osaka University of Arts, was awarded the gold prize at Chelsea flower show in 2001 before being moved to the National Botanic Garden of Wales (NBGW). The garden includes a tea house and karesansui, Japanese rock garden, and despite its small size, is a place where visitors can experience Japanese culture and the atmosphere of a traditional Japanese Garden in Wales.
After more than 15 years, the garden had become overgrown and the tea house and bamboo fences weathered. The government of Japan (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism) decided to support the restoration of the garden in the 2018-19 fiscal year through the Overseas Japanese Garden Restoration Project to tie in with the Japan-UK Season of Culture 2019-2020. The restoration work was carried out by the Japanese Garden Society, UK, under the supervision of Mr Takuhiro Yamada from the Japan Landscape Constructors Association, with the cooperation of numerous volunteers and staff at the Botanic Garden. The work was completed in early June in time for the ceremony on the 4th.
The newly restored garden is now clear of overgrown plants, the pond water is clean, the tea house has new flooring and panels, and overall the garden has regained its air of grace and harmony.
The ceremony was attended by Mr Robert Ketchell, Chairman of the Japanese Garden Society; Mr Graham Hardman, Honorary Vice President of the Japanese Garden Society; Mr Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism at the Welsh Government; Mr Keith Dunn, Honorary Japanese Consul for Wales; and Ambassador Tsuruoka, who presented a few words of congratulations from the Government of Japan. Other attendees included members of the NBGW and the Japanese Garden Society, volunteers, and local Japanese residents.
The Embassy hopes the Japanese Garden will continue to play a role in promoting Japanese gardens and culture in Wales and the UK, and that it will be treasured for years to come.
The Embassy of Japan