An oasis of calm in the city’s rush, Buenos Aires’s Japanese garden opened in 1967, when Crown Prince Akihito and Princess Michiko visited Argentina. Administratively part of the Jardín Botánico, the Jardín Japonés enjoys better maintenance, and, because there’s chicken wire between the exterior hedges and the interior fence, it’s full of chirping birds rather than feral cats.
Like Japanese gardens elsewhere, it mimics nature in its large koi pond, waterfall, and “isle of the gods,” and also Japanese culture in features like its pier, lighthouse, and “bridge of fortune.” In addition, the garden contains a Monumento al Sudor del Inmigrante Japonés (Monument to the Effort of the Japanese Immigrant). Argentina has a small but well-established Japanese community in the capital and the suburb of Escobar.
The Jardín Japonés (Avenida Casares and Avenida Adolfo Berro, tel. 011/4801-4922, www.jardinjapones.com.ar, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. daily) charges US$1.50 for adults, US$0.25 for children (above age six) on weekdays; weekend and holiday rates are US$2 for adults, US$0.75 for children. There are guided weekend tours at 3 p.m.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Argentina, 3rd edition