Located in the residential suburb of Durban north are the Japanese Gardens,
officially opened to the public on Thursday June 27 1963.The gardens serve as a
relaxing retreat from the everyday distractions 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.
The water features found within the gardens were set up on the sites of natural springs which flow throughout the year, and the streams are decorated with arched bridges and stepping stones, as well as Louisiana Irises, which flower in early spring, covering the area with masses of mauve, various shades of maroon, yellows and white. A number of species of water lily have been introduced, as well as Japanese koi and tilapia adding to the tranquility and beauty of the gardens.
An interesting feature on the main path is the "golden Frog" wishing well, which was donated by the Rotary Club of Durban North. This structure overlooks the main lake, and features a roof with beautifully glazed turquoise tiles. The other buildings featured in the gardens are the gazebo like structures which resemble traditional Japanese temples. These are located at special view points throughout the gardens, and have been made of bamboo and thatched roofs to blend into the surrounding landscape.
The gardens have become a popular destination for picnics over weekends and family groups can often be seen gathering on the meticulously manicured lawns for picnic or braais. Another of the notable features of the eight hectare Japanese Gardens is the impressive variety of birdlife to be found there. Species frequenting the area regularly include both Paradise and Black Flycatchers, various weavers, Dabchick, Egyptian Goose, Moorhen, and Kurrichane Thrush. In summer various species of swallow and martin can be skimming over the lawns and water.
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