from FUTHI MBHELE in Durban
DURBAN – IN an era where recreational parks in South Africa are deteriorating, the Japanese Garden ought to pride itself as one of the most developed parks around.
Located in the suburb of Durban north, it is commemorating its 60th anniversary.
It was officially opened to the public on June 27 in 1963.
Six decades later, it remains pristine and prides itself in giving visitors “a feel of Japan in South Africa.”
The garden has become a popular destination for families doing picnics over weekends. It is also conducive for people doing parties.
The gardens serve as a relaxing retreat from the everyday hustle and bustle of city life. Visitors to the gardens can take a peaceful walk along cobbled pathways, which lead them past various water features, bridges and gazebos.
It has waterfalls, nice bridges and a place for the kids to play and Japanese features.
When CAJ News Africa visited the park on a weekend, hundreds of people were gathered in the summer sun.
Some were having parties, others having quality time with loved ones.
Parking was scarce.
The Naidoo family said the park has become their second home on Sundays.
Msawakhe Mayisela, Ethekwini municipality spokesperson, had said during the upgrade the Japanese Gardens had played host to garden setting wedding ceremonies for a number of years, with patrons using an avenue of existing trees as a makeshift wedding aisle and informal alter at the end.
“There was a need to formalise this popular venue by constructing a contemporary gazebo that suited a modern Japanese theme, complimented by the avenue of trees. eThekwini Municipality wanted to formalise the area for better functionality and to increase the use of the gardens,” Mayisela said.
– CAJ News