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Japanese Oasis Of Calm Opened In Harrogate

Motor retailer Lookers Nissan has gone way back to their roots and helped launch a newly restored Japanese Garden in Harrogate.

Lookers Nissan joined local residents and avid horticulturists to re-open the Japanese Garden at Valley Gardens to the public.

Mr Koji Tsuruoka, the Japanese Ambassador, opened the garden and revealed its name, which is Shijima no niwa, Garden of Serenity, whilst the Harrogate Mayor Councillor Bernard Bateman, High Sherrif of North Yorkshire Christopher J C Legard Esq and Susan Mendus from the Heritage Lottery where all in attendance as well as 60 invited guests.

Lookers, who has a tradition of getting involved In local community projects, helped with the funding towards the official opening of the garden.

The work of the garden first began in March 2017 after preservation group, The Friends of Valley Gardens received £90,000 from the Heritage Lottery Funding.

The Japanese Garden has been a feature since the 1930s and were a common feature in English estates and parks, but since then, unfortunately, it was absorbed into the rest of the grounds over time, losing many of its period features.

Whilst some of the finishing touches are expected to run into next year, the garden is now open to the public and includes a new entrance, bridge and signage.

An important part of the project is to encourage community involvement so that young people and visitors can learn about the heritage of the garden and increase their understanding of Japanese culture.

Volunteer Project Manager for the Friends of Valley Gardens, Ann Beeby said:

“We would like to say a massive thank you to Lookers Nissan for helping us to celebrate this huge milestone in the restoration of our beautiful Japanese Gardens. It’s been a really rewarding project and one that will benefit the entire local community for many years to come.

“We are particularly looking forward to the run up to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo and invite everyone to visit our own little piece of Japan right here in Harrogate.”

Lookers Nissan General Manager Martin Watson said:

“We are immensely proud to be supporting the launch of this breath-taking Japanese Garden, which will no doubt provide a lot of enjoyment to the people of Harrogate, as well as those visiting this magnificent town.”

December 6, 2018

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