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Japanese Garden Opens in Athens

The Municipality of Athens recently opened the city’s first Japanese garden in a park located in the neighborhood of Pagrati, near the National Gallery and the Byzantine Museum.

The 3,500sqm garden is based on the “biophilic design”, a concept used within the building industry to increase connectivity between people and the natural environment.

The garden combines elements from different eras of the Japanese tradition and includes spots with lush vegetation and water, set in accordance to the principles of Japanese culture for a balanced shift between earth, water and fire.

The selection of plants have been based on local climate. The garden includes both Japanese and Mediterranean plants such as Japanese maples, cherry blossoms, bamboo, myrtle and laurels.

The garden also features shrubs, rocks and pebbles that form paths, as well as seating areas made of granite that create an attractive meeting area for residents and visitors.

“We call on Athenians to visit the park, walk on its paths and feel the serenity that the area offers,” Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis said during a recent visit to the park where he laid the foundation stone for the city’s first Japanese garden.

The mayor assured that major city revamp works will take place.

“Athens will become more green, beautiful and operational for its residents,” he added.

The thematic park was created as part of the municipality’s “Adopt Your City” program with the support of JT International Hellas under the auspices of the Japanese Embassy in Athens.

It was designed by Ecoscapes Landscape Architects & Designers.

According to Japanese Ambassador Nakayama Yasunori, the garden’s unique design will be fully developed by next spring.

“The charm of Japanese gardens is recognized internationally with a large number of projects carried out in various areas including Europe… With the contribution of all partners, the park will be completed by next spring and the Japanese garden will harmonically co-exist with the city of Athens,” Yasunori said.

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