SHAH ALAM: If you’ve had your heart set on visiting Japan for the longest time but work, family and financial commitments have stalled your plans, how about a happy compromise?
The Selangor-Japan Friendship Garden in Shah Alam can offer you sweet respite from your hectic days and give you a taste of Japanese culture in all its beauty and serenity.
With a surface area of 2.42 hectares, this garden was created to symbolise the long-standing friendship between Malaysia and Japan.
The Reflexology Garden here has paths paved with stones of varying sizes that gently massage the soles of your feet as you walk along it.
So, remove your footwear and walk barefoot to enjoy the full experience. Reflexology is said to stimulate your blood circulation and help improve your overall health. So have a go at it.
Koi Pond and Maze Pond
Many koi fish have made a home in the garden’s giant Koi Pond, and it’s likely that you will spot a tortoise or two chilling on the rocks!
A perfect place for your next family outing, you can feed the fish here by purchasing fish feed at the entrance.
Meanwhile, the Maze Pond on the other side of the garden, is both scenic and creative. It also consists of several small bridges linking the trail.
Surrounded by a profusion of trees and blooms, the water in the pond is crystal clear and so cooling that you’ll be tempted to dip your feet in!
Countless bamboo trees, symbols of good luck and auspiciousness in Japanese culture, line the pathways in the garden, dutifully providing shade to visitors on a hot day.
Besides the shade, the bamboo trees create a picturesque setting perfect for photo-taking.
Often found at the entrances of or inside Shinto shrines, Torii gates represent the border between the human world and the sacred religious world.
Located in the Terrace Garden, there is also a water fountain at the bottom of the steps, bookended by a wall artwork of gorgeous painted waves.
The Zen Garden, originating from medieval Japan, is a dry garden adorned with carefully arranged rocks, water features, moss, pruned trees and shrubs, with the gravel and sand raked to represent ripples in water.
The word Zen means meditation, and Zen Gardens such as the one found here, are renowned for their simplicity and serenity.
There’s also a small tea house right next to it, where tea ceremonies are typically held in similar gardens.
Next to the centerpiece Koi Pond is Rumah Selangor, a small museum that showcases Japanese traditional attire such as yukatas.
The colourful attire on the mannequins and dolls here will make you feel that much closer to the Oriental country.
At its entrance, you’ll also find a granite stone water basin called ‘tsukubai’. It is filled with fresh water for visitors to wash their hands and face. Tsukubai is derived from the word ‘tsukubau’ which means to bow down, an act of humility.
Almost all corners of this garden are Instagram-worthy, so why not check it out for yourself sometime soon?
Selangor-Japan Friendship Garden
Persiaran Bandar Raya
40000 Shah Alam
Opening hours: 10.00am-6.30pm (closed on Mondays)
Admission and parking: free