A garden as a gift
The Japanese garden in Hasselt is a result of the friendship ties that the cities of Itami (Japan) and Hasselt have maintained since 1985. Itami created this garden in 1992 as an opportunity to get to know Japanese culture and customs. Hasselt gave the people of Itami a tower carillon, a clock instrument almost unknown in Japan. The Japanese garden forms the extension of the Kapermolen park and is part of a 115-hectare green wedge that leaves the city center and reaches over the municipal border with Diepenbeek.
Mirror in the water
The pebble beach evokes the atmosphere of a beach where both ebb and flow have their influence. In the old Japanese gardens, places such as this are the perfect place to feed the koi or ornamental carps.
Party under the cherry trees
The cherry garden deserves special attention. The flowering of the cherry trees is a reason for the Japanese to celebrate. That is why space is also provided for this in the Hasselt garden. The approximately half-acre cherry orchard park has been laid out around an event square, while terraced spaces have been created under the cherry trees. They serve as a picnic area. In the cherry garden you will also find the peace bell, which was inaugurated in October 2016 as a permanent reminder of the 150-year diplomatic relations between Belgium and Japan that were celebrated that year. Anyone who wants can ring this bell for peace.
The ceremony house, built in typical 17th-century architecture, is a real gem of architecture. It was named “Korokan”, which means a place of peace and shelter for travelers. All materials used in the ceremony house are of natural origin: natural stone, wood, bamboo, clay and paper. Clay pans and pure (red) copper roofing were used for the roof covering. Because the living space does not rest on the ground, this ensures natural cooling, while the far-reaching roof edge avoids direct sunlight.
In the central garden you can see a lot of pruning forms. Here was chosen for a plantation of pine trees, symbol for eternity, because they remain green in the winter. Characteristic here is the rich use of rocks, a symbol of eternity.
The implementation of the Hasselt waterfall finds its inspiration in the 14th century garden of the Tenryüji temple in Kyoto. Striking is the large, fourteen-ton rock at the front right of the waterfall. The rock under the water curtain symbolizes the Japanese carp or koi jumping up against the waterfall. Once up, he turns into a dragon, the most important, purest, fairest being on earth in the old Eastern culture.
- The Japanese garden in Hasselt is open from March to October, from Tuesday to Sunday between 10 am and 5 pm (last entry at 4.30 pm).
- Free parking: Gouverneur Verwilghensingel 23 or Koning Boudewijnlaan.
- For more details, visit www.japansetuin.be
Pictures shot with
Canon EOS 750D