LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Waterfront Botanical Gardens on Thursday broke ground on Louisville’s first public Japanese garden. The $22 million Japanese Garden will occupy two acres and will be built over the next 24 months, officials said in a press release.

The garden will include a traditional Japanese Tea House, designed to introduce the Japanese tea ceremony, one of the most prestigious and symbolic rituals in Japanese culture.

Also planned for the Japanese Garden is a summer house, a Zen garden, and a zig zag bridge over a small lake. The Cornelian cherry tree, a type of flowering dogwood, will be featured in a few areas of the garden.

Landscape designer Shiro Nakane was on hand to celebrate the ground-breaking with elected officials and over one hundred botanical garden supporters, board members, staff and donors. Mr. Nakane spoke not only of the distinctive design of Japanese Gardens, but also about the bridging of cultures that takes place when a Japanese Garden is constructed outside of Japan.

“The apparent admiration and esteem enjoyed by the Japanese garden throughout the world is presumably attributable to the recognition of its universal artistic merits, which transcend all racial, religious, and cultural differences,” Nakane said.

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