Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers 2021 – Japanese Gardens

Having being wowed by the Picnic Point Parkland gardens in Toowoomba, we had great expectations of the Japanese Gardens Ju Raku En, and were not disappointed!

The gardens are one of Australia’s largest and most traditionally designed Japanese stroll gardens, according to the University of Southern Queensland’s online article. It took three years to plan the gardens. The name ‘Ju Raku En’ means “enjoy peace and longevity in a public place” and is a “presentation of Buddhist paradise with the celestial sea (the lake). The material world is the outer edge of the lake and a symbolic journal to paradise may be made by crossing one of the four bridges to the islands” (Japanese Garden – University of Southern Queensland (

The bold red entry to the gardens is off Regent Street, Darling Heights. As soon as you walk in through the gate you are struck by the beauty of the gardens and you instantly have a feeling of peace and tranquility. The bonus of the beauty of cherry blossoms added another dimension of beauty to the Gardens.

Sections of the garden are named (‘Longevity Joy Garden’, ‘Solitary Mind Garden’, ‘Cranes Sing Near Mansion’) as are bridges and structures (‘Long Low Cloud Bridge’, ‘ Dragon’s Back Bridge’), and there are commemorative plaques where a tree has been planted in celebrations of friendship between Toowoomba Region and the people of the City of Takatsuki.

Longevity Joy Garden
Solitary Mind Garden

The vistas are stunning, and the red colour of the bridges, the strongest colour in the garden, captures the eye and invites you to explore.

Lovely reflection of the bridge in the lake

The colour in the garden was predominantly from the flowering cherry trees and Azaleas, while the carefully planted plants with coloured foliage provided the permanent colour to the Gardens.

At one point I spotted a turtle basking in the sun in a quiet corner away from the crowds, while another was sitting on a submerged rock in the lake with just its head sticking above the water, catching a ‘breather’.

Waterfalls, architectural plants, careful sculptured shrubs, and each carefully placed rock all contribute to the overall design of the Gardens.

Stepping over Rainbow Bridge.

Next stop on the tour of the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers is Laurel Banks!


  1. It’s stunning to see a traditional Japanese
    garden in Spring, where you are. We have the opposite landscape here now. Especially love that torii gate entrance that sets the mood.

    • I wish I had done more research on the gardens prior to visiting them as I would have appreciated them more! They are definitely worth another visit. (PS. I have made a start on the wind spinner. It’s great to see it taking shape at row 3!)

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