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Adelaide Himeji Garden: a place for contemplation

Peppermint Park / Wita Wirra (Park 18)

Did you know that hidden behind this hedge is a magnificent Japanese-style garden?

Himeji Garden celebrates the Sister City relationship between Adelaide and the ancient Japanese city of Himeji. Situated 480 kilometres south-west from Tokyo, Himeji is renowned for the oldest wooden castle in Japan, registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.

Opened in 1985, the Garden is designed on Japanese Garden principles, but with adaptation to the Adelaide climate and plant availability.

Two classic Japanese garden styles are combined here - the ‘senzui’ - a lake and mountain garden where water and the imagination create images of vastness and grandeur, and the ‘kare senzui’ - a dry garden where rocks and sand evoke the presence of water, even the sea itself.

As you enter through the gatehouse, you will see the water bowl (Chozubachi) so visitors may purify themselves by washing their hands and adopting a humble kneeling attitude.

The Okunoin Lantern was presented by the City of Himeji and its inscription reads “For the friendship of the two cities”. The heart of the garden is the lake (S’ensui) suggesting purity of heart, which Buddhists believe is essential to happiness, fed by water from the “mountain” (Tsukiyama) which balances the Yin and Yang, the lake and the mountain.

The Tea House (Chasitu) overlooks the Sea of Sand (Kare-senzui) which invites the viewer to imagine the vastness of the sea with its islands and continents.

The Kaurna people are the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the Adelaide Plains. The Kaurna name for this Park, Wita Wirra, means Peppermint Grove.

City of Adelaide acknowledges the traditional Country of the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains and pays respect to Elders past and present. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land. We acknowledge that they are of continuing importance to the Kaurna people living today. We also extend that respect to other Aboriginal Language Groups and other First Nations.

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