The Japanese Garden of Buffalo lies in the heart of the
city, an oasis of tranquility and beauty. How many visitors must come every day
to recover from a nerve-wracking day at work or pass through walking or
bicycling the Scajaquada trail? Weekends are almost given over to wedding
parties, limos lined up, each awaiting their turn at the region’s premier photo
On Friday, July 9 at 10:00 a.m., the Olmsted Parks
Conservancy, the City of Buffalo, the Buffalo-Kanazawa Sister City Committee,
the Friends of the Japanese Garden, the Japanese Group of Buffalo, and several
other related groups will celebrate the rejuvenation of the Japanese Garden in
a ceremony to be held in the garden. The Conservancy has chosen the Japanese
Garden as one of the eight focal points along the Sqajaquada Creek Trail to be
enhanced. The plan is to make such upgrades as new
plantings, enhanced entrances to the garden, and an irrigation system.
The celebration will include tours of the garden, performances by Sal Andolina and a Japanese folk dance group, a traditional tea ceremony, and refreshments. This event is free and open to the public.
The Japanese Garden was a gift in the 1970’s to the city of
Buffalo from Kanazawa, Japan, Buffalo’s sister city and oldest sister city
partner. The garden was modeled on Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa, one of the
most famous gardens in Japan. A large stone lantern with one leg on land and another
in the water is part of Kenrokuen and the Japanese Garden, and has become an
icon of both.
After many years of neglect, the garden was reconstructed in
the 1990’s in a partnership of both cities, and a
new phase of renovation and growth will commence with the rededication.
The Japanese Garden has become a symbol of peace, first
because it was born of the friendship between our two sister cities, Buffalo
and Kanazawa. In 2012, this sister city relationship will be 50 years old, and
there are many plans afoot to celebrate. 2012 will also be the bicentennial of
the War of 1812. There are even more festivities planned throughout Western New
York and Ontario between 2012 and 2015, not to commemorate a war that occurred
200 years ago, but to celebrate 200 years of peace between the United States
and Canada. A peace garden route, modeled on
the International Peace Garden concept that originated in Canada in 1990, will
be created as part of this celebration. One of two such gardens in Buffalo’s
park system so nominated by the Olmsted Conservancy, the Japanese Garden has
just officially made the cut.
A renovated Japanese Garden will also be an important part
of Buffalo’s growing reputation as a cultural and tourism destination. Kanazawa
has for decades developed its cultural heritage as a key to the community’s
revitalization; Buffalo is following a similar strategy.
So whether you can join the celebration on July 9 or visit
another time, come enjoy the Japanese Garden and rediscover one of Buffalo’s
Following is information on the event posted by BRO’s Ian Carlino who spoke to Olmsted Conservancy CEO Thomas Herrera-Mishler in regards to Friday’s celebration:
“The celebration marks the completion of the first phase of restoration of this remarkable Asian inspired cultural landscape. The work is funded through a grant from the NYPA Relicensing Greenway Fund and is part of the project to improve the Scajaquada Trail Jesse Kregal Path which stretches from Delaware Park to the Niagara River along the Creek. We expect about 100 people to come out and enjoy this wonderful event, including a large group of garden bloggers from all over the nation. The celebration includes a Shinto blessing of the garden, tea ceremony, Japanese Folk Dance performance, Asian inspired clarinet performance by Sal Andolina with the BPO. Zilly Cakes is providing a one-of-a-kind cake inspired by elements of the Delaware Park Japanese Garden.”