Relax in Managua’s Parque Japón Nicaragua
Considered to be unique in Central America in terms of theme and design, the Japan Park Nicaragua, or Parque Japón Nicaragua, was inaugurated on 28 February 2005. Covering an area of more than eight thousand square meters in Managua, the park is an attractive blend of Japanese and Nicaraguan cultures, with traditional Japanese architecture, masses of huge bamboo plants, and other landscaping features typical of Japan. The park even has a replica of the famous Mount Fuji of the Empire of the Rising Sun, as well as a multistory pagoda-style temple. Taken from the Chinese language, the word pagoda literally means “eight corners tower”, and these distinctive buildings which are usually associated with the Buddhist religion, are found in many Asian cultures, including Japan.
Using the basic principles of Japanese garden design, which incorporate the natural environment and elements of Japanese culture, the park serves as an ever-changing living example of respect for traditions, the environment and the land – things the Japanese have in common with Nicaraguans. Replicas of Mount Fuji and the Nicaraguan volcano Momotombo are surrounded by Japanese dry garden landscaping known traditionally as karesansui, or more commonly known as zen gardening. Other features in the garden include wooden bridges, grasses, moss, tea houses, and white stone lamps in a pleasing combination of natural elements that provide a relaxing atmosphere for visitors to enjoy.
Initiated by Mr Dionisio Marenco, the mayor of the city of Managua at the time, as part of an urban development project, the opening of Managua’s Japan Park also marked the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Nicaragua and Japan, with Japan donating some of the funds required to set up the park. The inauguration ceremony was attended by Mr Mitsuhiro Kagami, the Japanese Ambassador, who noted that the park will be used as a venue for recreation, while informing visitors about the Japanese culture. The Ambassador was also reported as saying that relations between Japan and Nicaragua have been good, and expressed his belief this mutually beneficial relationship would continue. Certainly, Japan Park Nicaragua is contributing to an understanding and appreciation of Japanese culture in the bustling Nicaraguan city of Managua.