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Visual design of Vilnius Japanese garden, Source: vilnius.lt

Japanese garden to spring up in Vilnius

Japanese garden to spring up in Vilnius

Its design follows the concept of famous landscape architects Shiro and Yukihiro Nakane

Vilnius celebrates its 698th birthday today, but paying homage to local history doesn’t mean that the city is blind to the best foreign traditions. A specimen of one such age-old tradition - the Japanese garden – will appear in the spring of 2022 at the very heart of Lithuania’s capital.

Project subject to strict requirements  

Designed according to a concept developed by famous Japanese landscape architects, father and son Shiro and Yukihiro Nakane, the garden will soon start taking shape at a 5-hectare derelict area at the intersection of Lvovo, Geležinio Vilko and Linkmenų streets.

“The Vilnius Japanese Garden project is unique in its nature and content – it will be implemented according to the strict requirements of a traditional Japanese garden, and will become a special part of the old Neris riverbed landscape. The Japanese garden will complement the network of public spaces arranged in the new city centre in Šnipiškės neighbourhood and provide an opportunity for the residents and guests of the district to get to know the landscaping traditions of different nations,” says Rūta Matonienė, Senior Adviser to the Vilnius City Municipality Chief Architect, quoted by the city website.

The project envisages the formation of garden terrain and greenery, installation of footpaths, bridges and lighting, a gazebo and small architectural elements, waterfalls, cascades and fish ponds. There will be a sakura alley and a bonsai composition, too. The garden will also feature a children's playground and a car park nearby.

Some tree removal inevitable

Changes in the area will begin in the near future from earthworks, which will require the removal of some 450 trees growing in the area. These tees, mostly invasive ash-leaved maples, as well as willows, aspens and other soft deciduous trees, will be incompatible with the landscaping of a Japanese garden with its core hill (allusion to Mount Fuji), a waterfall and open meadow areas, claims Linas Ūsas, landscape architect of the company Terra Firma LT, who is heading the Japanese garden project.

However, trees growing around the currently polluted pond and elsewhere in the plot, around which no earthworks will be carried out, will be left intact as elements emphasizing the character of the area. In addition, new trees of various sizes - about 670 saplings – as well as shrubs will be planted at the outskirts of the garden to serve as a barrier to downtown traffic noise.

The project "Establishment of a Japanese garden in the area near Lvovo and Geležinio Vilko streets" is funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Its aim is to make the area more attractive for business development and creation of new jobs and promote community activities by adapting the Neris Old River Valley for recreation. 

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