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‘Shoyoen’ means ‘strolling and refreshing garden’. Shoyoen is recognised as being one of the most authentic Japanese Gardens in Australia. It was gifted to Dubbo by it’s Sister City, Minokamo, Japan.
The abstract and highly stylised miniature landscape is a distinguishing feature of this style of traditional Japanese Garden and is full of religious symbolism and cultural references. The garden was designed by students from the Kamo Agricultural and Forestry High School cementing a commitment to growth of understanding and friendship.
Work on the garden began on 25 February 2002 with the planting of the first cherry trees. The ‘ground breaking’ ceremony was performed by a Shinto priest, Mr Toshiyiuki Hasabe. Shoyoen was officially opened on the 23 November 2002, the 153rd anniversary of the founding of Dubbo and the 13th year since the establishment of the Sister City relationship between Dubbo and Minokamo. The new entrance gate ‘sukiyamon’ was constructed in March 2013 by Japanese craftsmen and is one of the finest in either Australia or Japan.
Significant elements within Shoyoen include:
- the waterfall, streams and lake that symbolises human existence: birth, growth and death
- Japanese Koi or ‘living flowers’
- The tea hut or ‘Chaoya’. The tea hut is named ‘Jurian’ that means ‘happiness and long life house’
The dry garden landscape or ‘karesansui’. Gravel is raked into patterns representing waves while rocks or mounds may represent a mountain or island
- Website – http://www.drbg.com.au/Gardens/shoyoen
- Brochure – http://www.dubbo.nsw.gov.au/_literature_32379/Shoyoen_Japanese_Garden_brochure
- Video Tour – https://vimeo.com/95809253
- Photos – http://www.drbg.com.au/Default.aspx?PageID=5846937&Page=1&A=PhotoGallery&PID=29644&Items=12
The Dubbo Regional Botanic Garden is located in East Dubbo, off Coronation Drive.