Tranquil, authentic and beautiful are just some of the words to describe the restored Fukuoka Garden, which opened on 17 July at its new location in Western Springs Lakeside Park.
The garden replaces the original Fukuoka Friendship Garden built in Auckland Zoo, which was given to Auckland in 1989 from Japan’s Fukuoka City in recognition of the sister-city relationship.
Mayor Phil Goff says Auckland Council has worked closely with the city of Fukuoka to re-establish the garden in its new home.
“Auckland and Fukuoka have been sister cities for more than 30 years. The Fukuoka Garden recognises the strong bond between our two cities and it’s great that we can join together today to celebrate a wonderful gift to our city and an important relationship that brings our cultures closer together,” he says.
“The relocation of the Fukuoka Garden from its original site was part of an expansion plan for the Auckland Zoo. The garden’s redevelopment has been an opportunity to collaborate closely with Fukuoka City, and deepen our sister-city ties, to create an enhanced and more accessible Japanese garden that all Aucklanders can enjoy.”
The new garden, which is 2.6 times larger than the original and free for people to enjoy, has a tea pavilion, waterfall and pond. It features over 1800 native Japanese and New Zealand species and incorporates items preserved from the original garden including four bonsai trees, paving stones, lanterns, a water basin and the entrance.
The design of the new garden was created by Fukuoka’s ZEN Environmental Design Ltd, with Fukuoka City Greenery Department and Professor Iekatsu Kubota, the designer of the original garden.
Auckland Council’s landscape architects have also worked closely with the Japanese-based designers to ensure the garden remains true to traditional Japanese design.
The garden’s opening was celebrated with a ceremony attended by Mayor Phil Goff, the Mayor of Fukuoka City, mana whenua, representatives from Fukuoka and Auckland Council and members of the Friends of Fukuoka Friendship Garden.
Opening hours and location
The garden is adjacent to the zoo and can be accessed from the park’s entrance near the main zoo carpark off Motions Road.
10am - 5.30pm winter
10am - 6.30pm summer