Stroll-style garden begun in 2002 and while largely completed will remain under construction until 2005. The park is located at Falls Park is located where Cottonwood Creek crosses under Highways 3A and 6. The City of Nelson is located on the southeast corner of B.C., about 60 miles north of the border with Washington and Idaho.
Shuzenji is located near a Cottonwood Falls and a large tunnel, both combining to generate an enormous amount of noise. The area had originally been cleared for a highway by tossing piles of stone. These two conditions have shaped the form and construction of the garden. The garden has developed through the sister-city relationship between Shuzenji/Izushi and the City of Nelson. The towns exchange 25 home-stays per year from Nelson, but Nelson has hosted 2,500+ children and students in the past 17 years. The garden is designed to raise the awareness of local children for what they might gain by spending some time in Japan. The original inspiration was Jim Sawada. To get the garden built, Sawada assembled a committee that included an ex-Fire Chief, retired City Treasurer, Building Inspector, Director of Public Works, City Alderman, head of parks and Recreation. Bridge crossing the Cottonwood is modeled after the larger bridge crossing the Katsura River in Shuzenji. Cherry trees have been planted on the slope to evoke the Japanese hillside. A great deal of work was performed by volunteers and in-kind services.
The site is shared by Earth Matters, an environmental group, and the local Gun Club. The garden has become a catalyst for the revitalization of these other uses of the site. The Cottonwood Falls now has a weekend market which brings in 250-400 people each weekend.
Good people of old
Looked oft at Mount Yoshino
And said that it was good.
Good people of our time,
Take a good look
At the good mountain of Yoshino!
Take a good look!!
Emperor Temmu Manyôshû trans. by Charles Terry (?) 7th century