One of the most peaceful and beautiful parks in Toowoomba is the University’s Japanese Garden. Located on the northern side of the campus, on a four and a half hectare site, it is Australia’s largest and most traditionally designed Japanese stroll garden.
Its elements of mountain stream and waterfall, Dry Garden, central lake, Azalea Hill, three kilometres of paths, 230 species of Japanese and Australian native trees and plants, and lawns combine in a seamless and restful harmony.
Japanese gardens emphasise the use of rocks to create three dimensional pictures in stone. All the large rocks in Ju Raku En were accurately placed by the designer of the garden, Professor Kinsaku Nakane of Kyoto, so as to appear naturally dispersed in a random way.
Most visitors stroll through the garden or relax on the seat near the Dry Garden; it is not uncommon to see an artist quietly painting a scene or children feeding bread to the fish or birds, which include swans, ducks, geese and smaller natives.
It is a popular venue for weddings: spring weddings are often held under the mass of lilac blossoms hanging from the Wisteria Pergola, while other couples choose to be married in front of the waterfall or under the Viewing Pavilion on one of the islands.