Do you know that Belgium hosts the largest Japanese garden in Europe? I didn’t know it until last Saturday! One of my dear Czech friends came up with the idea to visit a Japanese garden of Hasselt, in the Flemish province of Limburg, and so we formed a group of 4 enthusiasts and headed towards another wonder of Belgium. 🙂
The Japanese garden of Hasselt was created in 1992 in a cooperation with the Hasselt’s sister city Itami in Japan and it was inspired by the concept of the 17th-century tea garden. Although the Japanese garden lies between the city center and the ring, you can still enjoy some peaceful and calm walk while listening to the running water and feeding your eyes with the surrounding beauty.
We arrived around 2:30 p.m. and had a very pleasant and relaxed 60 to 90 minutes’ walk in this beautifully colored autumn garden full of red, yellow and green leafs. To our surprise, the garden was not overcrowded with people that day, so we could walk at our ease and I was able to take some nice pictures.
During your walk, you will see many typical elements of Japanese gardens. When you enter, you just follow the path which leads in between the trees and ponds. Sometimes, the path is connected to cute little bridges over the running water. In the center, there is a large pond where you can see some orange fish and you won’t certainly miss the Japanese Pavilion built over the part of the pond. One would imagine some tasting of Japanese tea inside, but by the time we were there, it was empty and we could only briefly have a look inside. Although after I checked and the tea demonstration is being hosted here at specific dates.
Behind the Pavilion, there are some small ceremonial houses and after the path leads you to the cascade that you can see from very close as at one point, you need to cross over the water on giant stones. But after that, the adventure for the kid in your soul still doesn’t finish until you cross over a wooden bridge and enter via small wooden gate back on the ground.
Japanese Garden of Hasselt, Belgium
Address: Gouverneur Verwilghensingel 23, 3500 Hasselt, Belgie
Phone: + 32 11 23 52 00
I will definitely visit the garden during the spring to catch the cherry trees in full blossom as I am sure this will be another food for the eyes! 🙂 Have you visited another Japanese garden in Europe? Tell me about it please!