ContactIng. Eva Brejchová
Programme Documentstel. :+420 378 035 041
"Final aim of creation of Japanese gardens is
to render through the plainest things
the secret of Nature and its creation."
– Sóami, 16th century
On June 12th 2004, Showa-en Japanese Garden was opened within the area of Zoological and Botanical Garden of the City of Pilsen. This act crowned more than two years of preparations of the project, which is a result of cooperation of representatives of authoriites of the City of Pilsen, Faculty of Economics of the West Bohemian University of the City of Pilsen and Japanese Gardening Association from Tokio. A lot of other institutions, companies and people are concerned with the foundation of the garden. The author of the conception of the garden and its spiritual creator is Mr. Eishin Harada, Chairman of Japanese Gardening Association.
The result of the project is the foundation of a unique Japanese garden which is not just a rare example of modern garden architecture but also a symbol of cooperation of Czech Republic and Japan. The importance of the garden for Czech-Japanese cooperation can be proved by the fact that the project had been watched and supported by Japanese Embassy in Prague and also by representatives of the City of Takasaki which is a sister city of Pilsen.
However, the whole project did not finish with the day of opening. Besides dealing with a lot of formalities, the work focused on the presentation of the garden as a significant tourist showplace in Pilsen and as an important centre for social life of the city. Such work is in fact permanent as well as systematic care of the garden taken by specilists of Zoological and Botanical Garden in Pilsen.
2001: a representative of Czech-Japanese Society discussed the possibility of setting-up a Japanese garden in Pilsen with the staffs of Urban Planning and Development Institute of the City of Pilsen, the Public Estates Authority of the City of Pilsen and some representatives of the Pilsen City; at the same time, there were independent discussions about the localization of a Japanese garden in the courtyard of the Faculty of Economics of the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen in Husova Street going on between representatives of the Faculty of Economics and Mr. Eishin Harada, Chairman of Japanese Gardening Association from Tokio
2002: representatives of Czech-Japanese Society, University of West Bohemia in Pilsen and the City of Pilsen agreed on the joint action during the process of preparation of the Japanese garden in Pilsen
February 2002: the Pilsen City Council approved the localization of the garden on urban land
March 2002: a visit of representatives of Japanese Gardening Association of Eishin Harada and his daughter Kie Yamada in Pilsen, meeting with the Deputy Mayor of the City of Pilsen, inspection of localities
June 2002: locality on the grounds of the Zoological and Botanical Garden of the City of Pilsen was chosen for the foundation of the Japanese Garden; there were more localities considered: the courtyard of the Faculty of Economics in Husova Street in Pilsen, "U Jeziska" Park, an area outside the building of Pilsen Holding, Inc. in Divadelní Street, and an area of public greenery in the neighbourhood of the sport centre in Štruncovy sady
November 30, 2002: in Osaka in Japan, the garden in its preliminary form was opened to the public; it was realized by a garden architect Hiraki Kishimoto, following the concept of Mr. Eishin Harada
April 2003: a contract for realization of preparation work made with a firm of Přemysl Písař
June 2003: second meeting with representatives of the Japanese Gardening Association in Pilsen; the basepoint of the discussions were specific technical and organization aspects of preparations of the realization of the garden in 2004; there were also discussions about a possibility of getting a grant for the project from Japanese Commemorative Association of the World Exhibition in Japan (JEC FUND); the City of Pilsen applied for the grant through the Japanese Embassy in the Czech Republic
June 18, 2003: lecture of Mr. Eishin Harada in the "13" Gallery in Pražská Street in Pilsen
August - September 2003: application for a grant to JEC FUND was successful; the city was granted 14.5 mil. yen (that is cca 3.5 mil.CZK) for the realization of the garden
June 2004: acceptance of sponsorship donations to organize "Japanese Architecture and Gardens" Exhibition
April – May 2004: preparatory work on the land for the realization of the Japanese garden
May 17, 2004: first representatives of Japanese Gardening Association came to Pilsen, the construction itself began; most of components came to the Zoological and Botanical Garden on trucks, come pieces of rock were carried from a quarry in Tis by Blatno
May 2004: a film about the creation of the Japanese Garden in Pilsen was completed
June 12, 2004: opening ceremony of the Japanese Garden with the attendance of the Mayor of the City of Pilsen and the Mayor of the City of Takasaki, our sister-city
since June 2004: another period of work started with the opening of the garden; workers of the Zoological and Botanical Garden of the City of Pilsen trained by their Japanese coleagues began their everyday and neverending care of the Showa-en Garden
second half of 2004: final report elaborated for Japanese Commemorative Association of the World Exhibition in Japan (JEC FUND) which was the condition for the realization of the grant from JEC FUND
June 2005: a DVD with a film about the creation of the Japanese Garden released
LinksJapanese garden Showa-en
Virtual sightseeing tours of the city of Pilsen – Japanese garden Showa-en