Origin of relations between Cowra and Japan
· Cowra Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre was established to recognize and develop the relationship between the people of Cowra Shire and the people of Japan, a relationship that has its origins in the Prisoner of War Camp that housed the Japanese P.O.W’s during World War II.
· In 1960 the Japanese Government decided to bring all their war dead from other parts of Australia to be re-buried at Cowra.
· This was the beginning of the friendship between Japan and the town of Cowra.
Object and purposes of the Garden and Cultural Centre
The principal object and purpose of the Cowra Japanese Garden and Cultural centre is the promotion of:
To support and advance the cultural relations between the people of Cowra Shire in New South Wales and the people of Japan.
The Cowra Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre organises a number of activities at relevant times throughout the year to promote its principal objects. These activities include:
· Invited Guest speakers regularly recount the fascinating story of the 1st Shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu and the history of the first Japanese landscape garden built by Shogun Ieyasu and explain the design features incorporated into the Cowra Japanese Garden, which replicates a traditional strolling garden from the Edo Period in its design;
· Guided tours through the Garden discovering and exploring the many aspects of Japanese landscape, garden and built form design, incorporated into the Garden;
· Traditional Japanese ceremonies conducted in the Arbor, the Tea House and the Edo Cottage, which have all been constructed to replicate traditional Japanese built form design;
· Japanese ceremonies such as a traditional tea ceremony which features relevant items of Japanese movable cultural heritage;
· Exhibitions of numerous pieces of Japanese movable cultural heritage including a Somenishiki vase standing 1.4 metres high which has a twin at the Japanese Imperial Palace in Japan and a Japanese scroll produced in 1580;
· Demonstrations by experts in traditional Japanese crafts such as calligraphy, origami and ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement);
· Japanese craft workshops for juniors and school groups;
· Informative talks and guided tours conducted by our Education Staff are available to school groups and other group visitors to the Garden.
Contact the Garden for details of upcoming events.
Opening Hours and Cost
The Cowra Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre is open every day except Christmas Day between 8.30am to 5.00pm.
Adults - $13.50
Seniors - $11.50
Students - $11.50 - With valid student ID card
Children - $7.50
Families - $35.00 - Two Adults and up to three school aged children
Audio guides are available for hire at $3.00 per handset and provide detailed information on all aspects of the design of the garden, architecture and movable cultural heritage.
The audio guides will direct the visitor through the Garden exploring all aspects of the landscape, garden and built form design.
Learn about the how the landscape and garden design are based on drawings submitted to the 1st Shogun by Japans warlords, learn how built form design reflects the Edo period of Japanese Architecture, and find out the meaning of the design of the plants and shrubs.
This is a great resource in order to gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the Japanese design, crafts and movable cultural heritage.
Schools and coaches are offered discount rates and are provided with an itinerary to suit their group’s needs if required. A range of activities are offered to school groups which include kite flying, traditional toy demonstrations, calligraphy, origami and Cultural Centre talks/videos on the design of the garden i.e. design of the garden based on drawings by warlords defeated by the first Shogun and the garden layout which represents the first geographical map of Japan and contains six elements, namely mountains, rocks, mountain waterfalls, mountain lakes, rivers running to the ocean and pine trees , all of which adds to a greater understanding and experience of Japanese design, crafts and objects of movable cultural heritage.