Frequently Asked Questions
Why was the site chosen to build the garden?
As the geographical formation of the terrain and the rocks made it ideal to replicate the landscape of Japan, in particular the existence of two rocks at the top of the hill, these large rocks are called Yogoseike and Shugoseike.
Why are the hedges pruned and shaped the way they are?
They are pruned and shaped to represent the rolling hills of Japan. The landscape design includes trimmed hedges and pine trees which are symbolic of the hills, reaching from the mountains to the ocean.
Why does the garden design include so many rocks?
Rocks formed an integral part of the first Japanese Landscape Garden.
Why are the buildings designed without gutters?
In order to prevent the build up of snow on the roof.
What is the purpose of the white raked stones?
This is what is known as a Japanese rock garden (karesansui) or "dry landscape" garden, often called a Zen garden. It is the creation of a miniature stylized landscape through carefully composed arrangements of rocks and uses gravel that is raked to represent ripples in water.
These Zen gardens existed in Japan at least since the Heian Period (784-1185).
How is the movable cultural heritage items in the Cultural Centre maintained?
All of the 300 movable cultural heritage items in the Cultural Centre are maintained by the staff.
Who designed the garden?
In 1977 world renowned architect Ken Nakajima was commissioned to design the garden. Mr. Nakajima was selected because of his work throughout the world designing Japanese gardens in Montreal, San Diego, Moscow and Houston. His company Consolidated Garden Research Inc. of Japan had a reputation second to none in all corners of the globe.
The design of the garden is a copy of the first Japanese landscape garden (Strolling garden) built by the first Shogun Tokugawa in the 16th century A.D, the Edo period of Japan in what is now called Tokyo (Edo).
What is the roof on the Cultural Centre made from?
The roofing material was originally hardwood shingles however, that was replaced with Japanese clay tiles in 2019/2020.
What is the main reason for the large bath (FURO) in the EDO cottage?
Furo are part of the Japanese ritual of bathing, not meant for washing but rather for relaxing and warming oneself. Washing is carried out separately outside the yubune. The bather should enter the water only after rinsing or lightly showering.
Generally Japanese bathrooms are quite small compared to western standards, so the bathroom is set up much like a walk-in shower area but containing the furo. The water is hot, usually approximately 38 to 42 degrees Celsius.
When is the best time to visit the garden?
Any time of year is a good time to visit the Cowra Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre. Japanese gardens are created with imagination and designed to display nature’s beauty in all seasons.
Spring is the time for fresh greenery and subtle blossoms. Cherry blossoms appear in late September/Early October, while late spring flowers include azalea, camellia, and wisteria.
Summer’s sunlit shades of green yield an unbroken, calming visual experience.
The vibrant colors of autumn are a popular visiting time. Autumn is a celebration of nature’s gift of life in the past year, and a transition to the peacefulness of winter.
Winter reveals the pure essence of the garden, when all has been stripped away to expose its fundamental structure, spirit, and quiet beauty.
Who designed the Japanese buildings throughout the garden?
These building were designed by world renowned Japanese architects Takeo Adachi and Tatsushi Aono.