Chinese & Japanese Gardens
We spent our day in Singapore
by visiting the Jurong Bird Park. Also in the vicinity is a hidden gem, a somewhat forgotten, yet with many foreign signs including Japanese, that probably has seen better days and crowds during it’s heydays – The Jurong Chinese & Japanese Gardens.
With the opening of Universal Studios
and other major attractions in Singapore, apparently not many people visit the Jurong Chinese & Japanese Gardens anymore. However, a “hidden gem” is still a gem and finding it will still bring you happiness. So, we proceed to uncover this “hidden gem”.
The Jurong Chinese & Japanese Gardens in Singapore is essentially an open, cultural & traditional landscape park that’s split into two and connected via the “White Rainbow Bridge”, built in the style of the 17-Arch Bridge at the Summer Palace in Beijing.
Since we were in the area and as there was still time, we decided to pay this place a visit after we finished exploring the Jurong Bird Park.
Anyway, we’ve never seen a Chinese Garden right next to a Japanese Garden before, so this kinda spiked our curiosity!
It was around the early evening by the time we were done at the bird park
and although it was in the vicinity, we took a taxi to the Jurong Chinese & Japanese Gardens as taxis in Singapore are rather cheap and don’t cost too much anyway.
I never really expected to see such a place like this in modern-day Singapore. It was really nice and kinda felt like taking a step back in time where things were not so hectic and everything was much more peaceful.
Chinese Garden, also commonly known as Jurong Gardens (as a whole) is a park in Jurong, Singapore.
Built in 1975 and designed by Professor Yuen-chen Yu, an architect from Taiwan, the Chinese Garden’s concept is based on Chinese gardening art.
The main characteristic is the integration of splendid architectural features with the natural environment.
The Chinese Garden is modeled along the northern Chinese imperial style of architecture and landscaping.
Compared to the Japanese Gardens, the Chinese Gardens are noticeably larger.
The Japanese Garden is built on an artificial island in the Jurong Lake area that is connected to the adjacent Chinese Garden island by a bridge.
This bridge is named: the “Bridge of Double Beauty”.
Japanese Garden, commonly known as Seiwaen and also Jurong Gardens, is the other half of the park in Jurong Gardens. It was built in 1974.
Where the Chinese Garden is designed to be visually exciting, the Japanese Gardens are designed with a calmness to evoke inner peace and a meditative state.
The styles and methods used for designing the garden are taken from Japan’s Muromachi period of 1392 – 1568 and the Azuchi-Momoyama period of 1568 – 1615.
With its traditional arched bridges, 10 odd Toro stone lanterns, traditional house and rest house, ponds and gravel chipped pavings, it faithfully recreates the traditional Japanese style.
In the art of Chinese and Japanese gardens, bridges play a critical role and the most important structures may denote the character.
There are many bridges in both the Chinese Gardens and the Japanese Garden.
Perhaps the most famous of the bridges here, is the “Pai Hung Chiao” Bridge.
The “Pai Hung Chiao” Bridge is the 13-Arch bridge, and also means “White Rainbow Bridge”, in English.
This “White Rainbow Bridge” in the garden, follows the style of the 17-Arch Bridge at the Summer Palace in Peking, China.
Although the bridge at the Chinese Garden is shorter than the famous 17-Arch Bridge in China, it still maintains the magnificence and brilliance in architectural design.
The designs of the bridges here in the Jurong Chinese & Japanese Gardens all represent typical beautiful traditional bridges.
Main Arch Building
The Main Arch Building is a renowned and typical Chinese arch building.
The magnificent and grandiose form has made it very popular, especially for picture-taking.
Inside the main arch building, there are two courtyards, namely the “Early Spring Courtyard” and “Garden Courtyard”.
Also, there is a fishpond in the center which is named the “Fishes Paradise”.
Selected architectural reproductions based on Beijing’s Summer Palace are the main attractions of the garden. Most notable though, is the imposing 7-story Pagoda, the focal point of the garden.
This and the Twin Pagodas, pavilions, a tea house and a stone boat are beautifully complemented by surrounding ponds, bridges and courtyards.
A cluster of thematic mini gardens are also dispersed artfully, throughout the Garden.
Pavilions & Pagodas
The Chinese Pavilion & Pagodas represent the soul of the Chinese gardening art.
The artistic features, typical of Chinese architecture have long been appreciated by man.
The arrangement of these structures is very important and one of the essential rules of the structural arrangement is that the position of each structure must be balanced by its height and size.
Furthermore, the building must be linked with plants, rocks, a winding stream and footpaths so as to create a poetical scene.
The design of the four pavilions at the Chinese Gardens
is based on the style of Northern Chinese Pavilions, and decorated to blend harmoniously with the Garden.
Stone Boat and Tea House
Its unique design and splendid architectural beauty is a fine art which has long been praised by people throughout the world.
The style of “Yao-Yueh Fang” (the Stone Boat) in the Chinese Garden is based on the Peking style, but there are some adaptations in the design and the materials used here.
The result of which – a more beautiful and grandiose form is obtained.
The “Ming Hsiang Hsieh” (Tea House) is a miniature structure following the style of the elaborate, winding gallery at the Summer Palace.
This meandering design is a characteristic and graceful Chinese architectural feature.
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