Ju Raku En (roughly translated means 'to enjoy peace and longevity in a public place') was opened on 21 April 1989 by Mr Yoshiharu Araki from the Brisbane Consul-General of Japan.
The garden took out Bronze in the Specialised Tourism Services category at the 2017 Queensland Tourism Awards announced at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Friday (November 10).
It was a big night for the Garden City with the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers named the State’s best in the Major Festivals and Events category.
The awards are hosted by the Queensland Tourism Industry Council and judged by a panel of industry experts.
USQ’s Japanese Garden, also known as Ju Raku En, is one of Australia's largest and most traditionally designed Japanese stroll gardens.
Opened in 1989 as a joint enterprise between the Toowoomba Regional Council and USQ, the 4.5 hectare site includes over 230 species of Japanese and Australian native trees and plants.
Visitors are treated to an array of visual delights with features including a lake with three islands, a stream and waterfall, arching wooden bridges, cherry blossom trees, bamboo avenues, carefully placed rock features and stone sculptures, and a traditional zen garden.
USQ Campus Services Executive Director Dr Dave Povey said the award acknowledged the vision of those who started the garden in the early 80s, as well as the ongoing effort to maintain and develop the site.
“It has become a very important part of the University community, as well as the Toowoomba community,” Dr Povey said.
“Approximately 100,000 people visit the garden each year, including our staff and students who frequent the garden as a lunch time retreat or for a quick walk around the paths.
“This recent accolade is shared by all involved in the garden, past and present, with special mention to our tireless maintenance team whose dedication and hours of effort ensure the Japanese Garden remains one of the most peaceful and beautiful parks in Toowoomba.”
Learn more at www.usq.edu.au/toowoomba/facilities/japanese-garden.