The bustling city of Toulouse hides a wonderful place where you can get to your senses. Le Jardin Japonais, or the Japanese Garden, is located in the heart of the Compans-Caffarelli park since 1982. Crossing the typical arched red bridge or having a pause at the tea pavilion while gazing out over the little lake will bring you to Japan instantly.
You can find the Japanese Garden in the Jardin Compans-Caffarelli between the Boulevard Lascrosses and the Canal du Midi. A natural boundary of greenery secludes the Jardin Japonais of 7,000 m2 with the Compans-Caffarelli park of 10 hectares. Piere Baudis, mayor of Toulouse between 1971 to 1983, wished to create a green space in the middle of town. Being passionate about Japan, he wanted a park designed after example of the gardens in Kyoto. These gardens in Japan date from the 14th and 16th centuries. Pierre Baudis succeeded in creating something special, as the Japanese Garden is an officially labelled ‘remarkable garden.’
Like the Kyoto gardens, the Jardin Japonais in Toulouse follows a layout based on characteristic elements of a Japanese garden. These basic components of rocks, plants, and water create a peaceful contemplation. Walking through the aesthetically decorated park, you will discover all kinds of exotic plants, together with a lake, a tea pavilion, and a dry garden. Rocks and stones have been placed in a specific way, and small hills represent the volcanic origins of Japan and Mount Fuji.
The kids and I visited the Japanese Garden at the beginning of May at the tail end of the cherry blossom season. Next time, I’ll make sure to visit somewhere between the end of March and April, as the sight of these beautiful pink flowers must be amazing. But even during our visit, the garden was beautiful and serene. Also, it slowed down our hectic city pace, which we are not used to anymore living a quiet country life. And of course, we ended our visit in style, having lunch at a nearby sushi restaurant.