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Opened in 1995, Miyazu Garden celebrates Nelson’s sister city relationship with Miyazu, in Japan. The garden is designed to honour cultural and natural elements of Japanese life creating a place with significant meaning for the people of Nelson and visitors alike.

Caring kiwi craftsmanship helped to create the feel of this garden. From plant selection, to constructed elements such as paths, pergolas, fences, garden ornamentation and the waterside pavilion, the unifying Japanese theme is executed to a detailed level in our New Zealand way.

To wander here is to experience paths that, like life, avoid a direct route and take you on a journey. Distinct spaces flow together, unified with plantings of both New Zealand native plants and Japanese species throughout the garden. Foliage and flower texture, colour, form of plants and symbolism of species have been skilfully contrasted and highlighted by design. Cherry, wisteria and iris blossom complement flax, hebe and beech.

Landforms and paths are linked with several bridges of different materials, form and meaning. The waters beneath cascade melodically or lie motionless, reflecting the sky, rocks, and plants. Islands float within “seas” and represent the fabled Crane and Tortoise islands and Mystic Isles.

The poolside pavilion is a contemplative place to sit enjoying the view of the reflective water and three plank bridge through the ‘moon’ window. The karesansui is a Zen garden composed of rocks and raked gravel with stone groupings, some based on representations of Heaven, Man and Earth.

Miyazu Japanese Gardens is administered by Nelson City Council.


Atawhai Drive


(03) 546 0200

Miyazu Japanese Garden

Miyazu Japanese Garden, The Wood, Nelson, New Zealand

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