The biggest Japanese garden in Europe holds more than 1000 Bonsai collection, Sakura trees and the stone garden. It’s located in the western coastal area of Lithuania, near Kretinga city, and more than 100,000 people has visited the garden by 2018.
Šarūnas Kasmauskas, the gardens’ creator, first dreamt of creating a garden when he was in his 30’s. He knew back then, although he was a medical doctor by profession, his heart is with the nature not with the medical career. 10 years later when he saw pictures of the Japanese gardens in Kyoto, he knew he must create his own Japanese garden.
With the help of the late Rokas Valčius, who studied the gardening in Japan, Šarūnas met the Japanese garden master, Hajime Watanabe.
In October 2007, the creation of the biggest Japanese garden in Europe was begun, and has been continuing ever since.
Both Lithuania and Japan has pagan roots. Similar to Lithuanian pagan religion, the Japanese indigenous religion is Shinto, whose object of the worship is kami – nature and it's elements (trees, mountains, stones, springs) or phenomena. The love of nature and respect for all elements of nature will not be difficult to be appreciated in Lithuania.
Our garden is the place for meditation and self-knowledge. We hope that our garden will become the place of recognition of Beauty and Harmony for you, too.
Hajime Watanabe, born in 1947, has been making Japanese gardens for more than fifty years. He has created many Japanese gardens outside of Japan as well. Since 2007, every year from spring to autumn Master Watanabe flies in to Lithuania to work on the garden.
Hidemi Onishi – our chief landscape artist, and is regarded in Japan as one of the best 5 bulldozer operators in Japan. His technique of maneuvering a large bulldozer to create subtle hills and curves are simply amazing.
We call our Japanese garden the garden of partnership since the creation of the garden takes place on a voluntary basis.