Athens mayor Kostas Bakogiannis and Japanese ambassador to Greece Yasunori Nakayama spoke on Wednesday at the inauguration of the city’s first public Japanese garden. The garden, the creation of which was sponsored by JT International Hellas under the auspices of the Japanese Embassy through the “Adopt Your City” program, is located at the site of the 3,500 square meter Nereidon Park, off Michalakopoulou Street in Pangrati.
Designed by landscaping company Ecoscapes, the park is based on Japanese gardening ideas dating back thousands of years, using plants native to both Japan and the Mediterranean, known to thrive in the local climate of the Attica basin. Japanese maples, cherry trees (of course), and bamboo share the soil with angeliki shubs, myrtles and daphnes. Several water elements have also been added in accordance with Japanese tradition.
“Athens will continue to become greener,” Bakogiannis was quoted saying. “We invite all Athenians to visit the park, to walk in its paths and to discover the feeling of peace that this special place offers.”
Ambassador Nakayama expressed joy over the project, pointing out that the park will be fully completed in spring: “I hope that with the assistance and cooperation of everyone involved in the project, next spring this park will be a Japanese garden in complete harmony with the city of Athens.”