A few weeks ago we visited a gorgeous Japanese Tuin (Flemish word for garden) nestled in the lovely city of Hasselt, around an hours drove from Brussels.
The gardens were gifted to Hasselt by the Japanese city of Itami, to celebrate the two cities becoming sisters cities in 1985.
We visited just in time to see the beautiful cherry blossoms in bloom! The gardens start with pathways that weave through flowering trees, there are little foot bridges that cross over the flowing brook. L was fascinated by the bubbling water!
The pathways lead to the centre of the garden where lies a stunning waterfall feature. There is a footpath over the water that leads right up to the waterfall. You can then traverse the stepping stones to the other side, there is another route that doesn’t involve water and stones!
Behind the waterfall lies a traditional Japanese building that houses lovely replica traditional living quarters. There is also a small room that is used for school groups that visit the gardens.
The building overlooks a large pond that is home to some of the biggest Japanese Koi fish I have ever seen. A bridge takes you over the pond where you can then walk to the waters edge to meet the fish. They swim right up to the edge and are so close you could almost touch them! This was definitely L’s favourite part!
Over the bridge there are pathways that lead to a traditional bell, which L rang at least three times. There is also a wishing post where you are free to leave your wishes. There is a large catering and stage area for the many events that take place at the gardens.
The tree lined pathways lead you around the pond back towards the waterfall area. L insisted on crossing the stepping stones again!
We then headed up the pathway towards the exit, we came across the most amazing cherry blossom tree in full bloom! Photo opportunity!
After a dozen photos we headed back to the car park. We spent around and hour and half in the gardens. L thoroughly enjoyed the visit, it was great to introduce him to a little bit of Japanese culture!
We are so pleased we visited the gardens, it’s a little gem and definitely worth a visit!
Need to know:
€5 per adult
€4 Pensioners/large groups
Children under 12 are free
Tuesday – Sunday: 10am -5pm
Open most public holiday except Easter
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