Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Bit of Japanese Greenery. Jardín Japonés de Buenos Aires.


B oth Bro and I appreciate gardens and so if there is opportunity to visit one or more, we are there! From Recoleta Cemetery, we realized it was too far to walk to get to the first garden on our itinerary - the Japanese Garden. We decided to give Uber a shot.

 Uber's just recently been introduced into Buenos Aires so the map doesn't have too many detailed points.  Instead, you get a range of addresses on a street.  I fired up the app on my phone and the closest point it could find was about a block and a half away.  Bro was insisting I keep trying to get a more accurate pickup location but I decided it was easier to just walk down the block. I had to drag Bro with me but eventually he realized what I was doing.  Our pickup point turned out to be the corner of the street.  As I watched our ride approach us on the map,  I had Bro keep an eye out for the car and license plate number.  Uber has never failed me and today as no exception!  Sometimes, you just have to work with the system and not force the system to work as you want it to.  You need to be flexible!

Sure enough, while the garden looked very close in distance to the cemetery, it was not.  I was glad we decided to go by car.

Our Uber driver dropped us off by the garden though not right at the entrance.  That was okay, we just had to walk a short distance.  There's a small entry fee which Bro paid as he handles the money when we travel :-)

Following the demolition of a similar, smaller garden in the Retiro area, the Japanese Argentine Cultural Foundation secured a title to 2 hectares (4.9 acres) on the northeast corner of the city's extensive Parque Tres de Febrero for the purpose of creating a replacement. Completed in 1967,   the Japanese Garden was inaugurated on occasion of a State visit to Argentina by then-Crown Prince Akihito and Princess Michiko of Japan.  Afterwards, the Embassy of Japan donated the garden to the City of Buenos Aires to show the gratitude of the Japanese community living in Argentina.

Today, the garden is administered by the non-profit Japanese Argentine Cultural Foundation in Buenos Aires.

While you can hear the buzz of the traffic whizzing by on the nearby streets, this garden is a nice respite from the steel, glass and concrete of the city.  The garden is home to a cultural center, restaurant, a greenhouse known for its collection of bonsai trees and a gift shop. The central lake features carp and is crossed by the Divine Bridge, traditionally representing entry into Heaven and by the Truncated Bridge, leading to an island where Japanese medicinal herbs are grown.


The lake is surrounded by flora of Japan as well as flora species native to South America.   After a quick stop to buy some drinks as Bro had run out of water, we took a stroll along the path that winds its way around the central lake.  Here are some of the photos I took on my walk.



















Before leaving the garden we spent a few minutes checking out the plants that were being sold out of the greenhouse.   Next it was onto the Rose Garden Walk, a must see for Bro.....the rose lover. :-)