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Photographer: Greg Bortolotto

Photographer: Garry Wilkinson

The Garden is one of Australia’s largest and most traditionally designed Japanese stroll garden. Ju Raku En is a relatively young garden and it will take many years for it to be considered complete. The master plan and design for the Garden and community building and tea house were prepared in Japan after site analysis and intensive background studies by staff of the Nakane Garden Research. Construction commenced in 1983 after three years of planning.

Japanese gardens emphasise the use of rocks to create three dimensional pictures in stone. All the large rocks in Ju Raku En were accurately placed by the designer of the garden, Professor Kinsaku Nakane of Kyoto, so as to appear naturally dispersed in a random way.

Ju Raku En is a presentation of Buddhist paradise with the celestial sea (the lake) lapping the rocky shores of the three islands where the immortals are said to dwell. The material world is the outer edge of the lake and a symbolic journal to paradise may be made by crossing one of the four bridges to the islands.

The Garden is a popular venue for weddings. Spring weddings are often held under the mass of lilac blossoms hanging from the Wisteria Pergola, while other couples choose to be married in front of the waterfall or under the Viewing Pavilion on one of the islands.