The Cowra Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre is a registered cultural organisation, and is classified by the National Trust as ‘A place of Significant Cultural, Architectural and Historic Significance.'
It is also very important that this historic Garden and Cultural Centre is preserved for present and future generations.
The Board of Directors operates in an honorary capacity.
There are numerous Japanese Gardens throughout the world, however this Garden is more than just a Garden, it is a powerful symbol of good will, encouraging reconciliation and peace.
The Cowra Japanese Garden covers 5 hectares – the largest in the southern hemisphere! It was built here because of Cowra’s special significance to the Japanese. The unique relationship of Cowra and Japan originated on a cold night in August 1944, when more than a thousand Japanese prisoners of war broke out of the prison camp.
The 231 Japanese soldiers who died in the escape were buried nearby and local members of the Returned Serviceman’s League tended their graves. As mutual respect grew over the years between Japan and the citizens of Cowra, the idea of a garden arose which would be a symbolic representation of the landscape of Japan.
Many Japanese believe that the Buddha willed the Cowra citizens to create this garden so that the spirits of the Japanese soldiers could rest in peace.