First Japanese Garden Opens in Tbilisi

A Japanese garden opened in the National Botanic Garden of Georgia in Tbilisi on Saturday.

The garden is located over a 250 sq. m. area in the valley behind the Sololaki ridge and features Japanese traditional art features, including a Torii Gate, a symbol of beauty in Japan, and a Tasoutou style stone tower, believed to be the sculpture of happiness and luck. A Kasuga stone lantern and a traditional Japanese scarlet red bridge are also present in the garden.

The main feature of the garden is a Fuji Mountain sculpture made from parts of the lava of the Fujisan slopes, specially brought to Georgia from Japan.

The opening ceremony was attended by Tbilisi Mayor, Davit Narmania, Deputy Foreign Minister of Georgia Davit Jalagonia, Japanese Ambassador to Georgia Toshio Kaitani and other important officials.

The opening ceremony was chosen to be held on the International Day of Tree Protection and to celebrate, the attending officials planted a number of trees in the garden: Japanese maples, Japanese Cherry (Sakura) trees, firs, pines and others.

Designed and developed by Japanese company Kosugi Zohen, the garden is to be cultivated according to all the principles of real Japanese gardens.

The Japanese Government allocated 200,000 GEL (USD 85,294) for Georgia to build the garden in Tbilisi. The project was implemented with the support of the Mayor’s Office of Tbilisi, JAPAN EXPO’70 FUND and JTI Company.

The Tbilisi Mayor noted that the new garden would attract many Georgians and foreign visitors.

“This Japanese garden is the symbol of Japan…I am sure this garden will become a popular place for both Georgians and our visitors,” Narmania stated at the ceremony.

According to Georgia’s Foreign Ministry, the garden represents a symbol of good relations between Georgia and Japan.

“In addition to the centuries-old history and traditions of the two countries, Japan and Georgia also have common fundamental values, like democracy, freedom, human rights and the rule of law,” the Deputy Foreign Minister stated.

The Georgian side also underlined the importance of moral and material support of Japan to Georgia, which is a special contribution to the country's economic and democratic development.

A traditional Japanese tea ceremony was also held in the newly-opened garden, hosted by the wife of the Japanese Ambassador.

Thea Morrison

24 October 2016 23:30