Toowoomba Japanese Gardens
Looking to show your Brisbane kids the wonders of another culture in our own back yard? Look no further than the picturesque Toowoomba Japanese Gardens.
Ju Raku En as they have been named (this roughly translates into “long life in a public garden”) was established by the local council and university. This team effort has resulted in creating the largest Japanese garden in Australia! Located on West Street, which is the North side of the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba this beauty of West Brisbane is worth the drive.
Toddler Friendly Gardens
The Toowoomba Japanese Gardens are stroller accessible which is just as well as your Brisbane kids little legs may be wary after having 3km of walking tracks to explore. Watch your littlies marvel at the 230 different species of plants, a waterfall, a mountain stream and a large lake as the centre piece of this truly unique, traditional garden. Make sure you take advantage of the various viewing platforms located around the gardens.
This tranquil park is also home to fish and a variety of birds. Take a loaf of bread with you and enjoy feeding the swans, ducks and geese that call Ju Raku En home. Why not feed yourselves while you’re at it? With picnic areas throughout, you couldn’t have a more idealistic setting to enjoy a relaxing bite to eat with your family. You could take this chance to explain the story behind the garden. The grounds were carefully designed around a Buddhist legend. The rock island in the middle of the lake is symbolic of the centre of the Buddhist universe, 2 other islands around the lake (which represents the celestial sea) are meant to show the homes of those who live forever. The lakes rim is that of the material world and the bridge symbolises the chance to make a trip to paradise. It really does provide a unique opportunity to extend your children’s vocabularies and teach them about unique and wonderful concepts.
If anyone is to appreciate the wonder and magic of the story and beauty that is the Toowoomba Japanese gardens it will be your Brisbane kids. Remember Brisbane Kids has plenty of other gardens as well as day trip destinations for your enjoyment with your kids.
Photos: Kylie Giggins from Utsukushii Design & Photography