One of the few countries Malaysians love travelling to is Japan. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, many of us cannot venture out into the land of the Rising Sun.
But don’t fret just yet! You can now experience what it’s like to be in Japan without even needing to fly over there. On 12th March, Shah Alam City opened the Selangor-Japan Friendship Garden which is located next to Dataran Kemerdekaan. Also, you don’t have to pay for entry as it is absolutely free!
Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) mayor Datuk Haris Kasim mentioned that the friendship garden was created as a token of appreciation to Japan. The East Asian country remains one of Selangor’s trusting and longest investors.
Kasim also stated, “We hope this garden will become a new focal point for tourists, especially from Japan and local visitors to check out the elements related to Selangor“.
The park measures 2.428 hectares and costs roughly RM3.8 million. Development of the garden started in 2018 and was finished last year. However, the opening of the park had to be delayed due to the enforced movement control order (MCO).
Japan Information Service 3rd Secretary Iwai Imari from the Japan Embassy, chaperoned Haris alongside councilors and council staff for a stroll around the friendship garden. Selangor Malay Customs and Heritage Corporation (Padat) chief executive officer Datin Siti Khadijah Abdul Aziz was also present.
Kasim mentioned that the MBSA predicts the garden becoming a hub spot for locals and tourists. He exclaimed, “Gardens like this will spur the tourism industry in Shah Alam, specifically arts and culture”. Kasim also added that the friendship garden will become a hotspot for wedding photos in Shah Alam.
The Selangor-Japan Friendship Garden offers several Japanese landmarks and architecture including the Zen Space, Maze Pond, Torii Gate, Reflexology Space, Stone Basin, and Terrace Space. There’s even a Tsukubai, which is a Japanese culture where visitors purify themselves by washing their hands and rinsing their mouths at the wash basin.
The park is also decorated with luxuriant greenery combined with natural elements like wood and stone. The place is also encircled by bamboo-themed fences, giving this place a different feel from regular Malaysian tourist spots.
The park is open daily from 10am to 7pm. The Selangor-Japan Friendship Garden is truly a convenient spot for people planning on holding picnics and for those who enjoy the breeze of nature. If you can’t afford to travel to Japan, you can just visit the park instead!