STUDENTS from sister city Miura were on hand for the re-opening of Warrnambool’s Japanese Garden.
Funding of $20,000 from the Warrnambool City Council small infrastructure fund was provided to carry out a revamp of the garden.
This included work on the main wooden structure, re-setting the foundation stone and the placement of interpretive signage.
The Warrnambool Triton Woodworkers group and the Warrnambool Lions Club have made contributions to the garden.
Warrnambool mayor Kylie Gaston officially re-opened the garden at a ceremony on Monday.
Joining her were eight students from Miura.
The students are attending Brauer College for two weeks as part of an exchange program between the two cities.
Warrnambool and Miura have been sister cities since 1992.
Cr Gaston said the launch of the newly revamped garden was a good way to celebrate 25 years of the sister-city relationship.
“It feels very right to have the garden re-opened in this the 25th year of our formal relationship with Miura,” Ms Gaston said.
“This relationship is one of the longest and most success cultural exchange programs of its kind in Victoria.
“The garden further strengthens our ties. It is an area where people can come for some quiet time and reflection. This is a joyous occasion, we want to use it to get the word out that the garden is here. We want people to come and explore this beautiful part of Warrnambool.”
Cr Gaston praised the role of former councillor Rob Askew in the development of the garden.
She said Cr Askew had been a passionate supporter of the garden and pushed hard for its continued enhancement.
The garden is located in Grafton Road and is opened daily.
The first tree was planted in the garden in 1998 and the site was blessed by Kannushi Yoneda, a Shinto Priest from Miura.
While the garden has a traditional Japanese layout, the plants are indigenous and sourced locally. The garden layout is aimed to represent the geographical connection between Australia and Japan.