Why should you visit Kariya Park? What to see over there?
Recreational parks are an excellent way to escape from the suffocation of high rise buildings of the city. They offer a quick retreat into the lap of nature and a chance to find your inner peace.
Kariya Park is one such lovely stop that offers a weekend away from the hustle and bustle of cities. Huddled in the heart of Mississauga (Ontario), Kariya Park is inspired by Japanese culture and aesthetics. According to Japanese beliefs, the park absorbs all the negative energy lurking inside you. And it radiates positive vibes, all the while offering a calming sense.
Interestingly, Kariya Park is named after the city that was twinned with Mississauga. The park was thrown open to the public on July 7, 1992, to mark 11 years of the city’s friendship with Kariya. Kariya Park signifies the cultural amalgamation of both cities.
Once inside the park, you will spot beautiful trails, iconic sculptures, cherry blossoms, and picturesque landscape along with tranquility. The atmosphere is ideal to spend some quality time with yourself.
The peaceful surroundings of Kariya Park stand in stark contrast with the bustling city. Although it is situated amidst the city, it feels like an alternate universe with all the peace and quiet.
Here, we bring to a glimpse into an exquisite escape for this weekend.
Kariya Park: 13 Interesting Things To Know!
1. The token of twinning
Close to the main entrance of the park, you will see a metal framework. It appears to have the image of a Japanese festival celebrated by Kariya citizens for more than 200 years called ‘Mando Masturi.’ Mandos are giant paper lanterns up to 5 meters high. They are fixed on bamboo sticks and weigh around 60 kgs. The Mandos represent Japanese warriors.
On closer inspection of the framework, you’ll discover a photomosaic of more than 6000 pictures. These pictures depict the friendly relationship and the past exchanges between the citizens of Kariya and Mississauga.
The Kariya city also sports a similar park known as The Mississauga park. It is inspired by Mississauga culture and values. It portrays the entire Mississauga city in a concise space. Just like The Kariya park, it also helps the citizens of Kariya learn about their sister city.
2. The tsukubai basin.
Near the main gate, you will find a small basin made up of a cup-shaped stone coming out of the ground, The tsukubai basin. In Japan, these basins are meant to wash hands before entering a holy place to purify the visitors.
3. The Pond and The Bridge
As you walk ahead in the garden, you will come across a large pond locally called the ‘duck pond.’ The pond is a habitat for many animals like ducks, geese, turtles also swans. You can actually see the shadows of high buildings surrounding the park in the pond water. It is a fascinating view that demands to be captured.
A small, adorable bridge takes you to the other side. The bridge, enclosed by exquisite trees and clean water makes a perfect click. You can also get your amazing wedding photoshoot done here.
4. The Trails
A lazy stroll in the park is all you need to bust the stress that piles up all week. The trails paved across this park offer a relaxing walk as your eyes scan the green surroundings. The park sports a remarkable variety of trees like Pine, Gingko, Rhododendrons, and others. A few trees were gifted by the sister city, Kariya.
As you walk around the park, you hear the chirping of the bird and the gurgle of water. It is indeed a unique getaway for nature lovers.
5. The Statue of Friendship
After crossing the bridge, you’ll come across the statue of friendship. You can find plenty of metal and stone sculptures in Kariya park. They all are beautifully carved but this statue attracts most of the tourists.
The sculpture depicts a boy and a girl side by side affectionately. The adorable kids with their joyous smiles are pleasant to look at. The statue of friendship is the portrayal of friendship between the sister cities.
6. The Friendship Bell
Walking through the same path, you will reach the pavilion. The two sides of the pavilion represent the two sister cities. In the center of the pavilion lies a big bronze bell called ‘The friendship bell’. The bell unites the two sides of the pavilion, that is, the Mississauga city, and the Kariya city.
It appreciates and honors the amicable relationship between the two cities. The bell sports the Canadian maple leaf and Japanese iris flowers. The cities, Kariya and Mississagua are also represented symbolically on the bell.
It was cast in Japan. The friendship bell was installed in the park during the phase II opening ceremony of the park on July 7, 2001. The bell is still rung on ceremonial occasions.
7. The South pond and Turtle rock
In addition to the duck pond, there is another pond in the park. The South Pond is also exquisite but boasts of a unique attraction. The Turtle rock adorns this pond. The large rock illustrates a turtle coming out of the water to get some sunlight.
The theory behind the turtle rock is that on that day there actually was a turtle who was trying to come out of the water to enjoy the sun.
8. The Zen garden
Next on the list is The Zen garden which is also known as the ‘Rock Garden’. The garden is inspired by Japanese gardens. The raked patterns on the ground are believed to calm the souls of visitors.
It is also believed that it takes away all your stress and make you feel free. It is designed in a way that brings you close to nature and imbibes you with inner peace. It is a great place to meditate.
9. The heavenly Cherry blossoms
You can enjoy cherry blossoms in United States. Kariya park displays 65 cherry blossom trees that bloom in the spring season. Spring in Mississauga sets in late April or May.
These trees are a gift from the Japanese twin city to Mississauga city. They bloom for a very short period of time approximately for two weeks. But that fortnight is enough to attract loads of tourists.
Kariya Park is known for its heavenly cherry blossom. So next time you’re in Mississauga in spring, visit Kariya park and enjoy the heavenly bloom.
10. The Waterfall
The water tumbles down from the aesthetic waterfall near the front gate of the park. Behind the waterfall, there is a huge rock. You will find several rocks here and there in Kariya park and each rock stands for something.
This rock is known as The Red Japanese Maple. The rock along with the tumbling, cascading waterfall creates a treat for the visitors’ eyes.
11. Get your perfect clicks
The Kariya park offers many spots to get yourself clicked for the #perfectpictures. One of my favorite spots is over the bridge. It’s a beautiful view there with the still water beneath and all the greenery around.
You can also get yourself clicked with the beautiful cherry blossoms. But for that, you have to make sure that you visit the park in the blooming season, spring.
Kariya Park also offers wedding photoshoots but you will need permission for them from the concerned authorities.
12. Serene space
A green serene space is hard to find amidst the city. But Kariya Park is designed to fill the visitors with good and positive vibes, to bring them close to nature.
This place is a perfect spot for people living in or near Mississauga searching for a short, immediate break from everyday chaos. For those who are residents of another country and visiting Mississauga, Kariya Park is a must-visit spot to get a glimpse of Japanese culture.
13. The Japanese inspired aesthetic.
Kariya park offers you a glimpse of the Japanese aesthetic, their culture, their beliefs, and their legacy. The rocks, The gardens, The waterfalls are all inspired by the sister city.
If you are curious, you can enjoy a bit of Japanese culture here in Kariya park. Interestingly, Kariya Park is named after the city of Kariya, Japan.
What is the history behind Kariya Park?
So let’s turn the pages of history and talk about how it all started. What led to twinning?
Well, it was all started after World War II in 1960. The idea was to connect cities over the world to reduce the conflicts and coldness among them. It was to create awareness among the citizens.
They will learn to respect each other culture, values, and to maintain a healthy and positive relationship. This leads to the twinning of the cities, Mississauga and Kariya.
The twinning was beneficial to both the cities. It provides additional educational opportunities to the students. The exchange makes the cities able to work together and to boost the local economy. More than 100 Japanese companies are here in Mississauga which adds up to their economy.
The park was established later to aware citizens more about the relationship and make them adore the culture and values of each other and to celebrate the friendship each and every year.
If I have convinced you well to visit, The park opens all the seven days for the public from 7 a.m to 9 p.m.
Have you visited Kariya Park? If yes, then share your experience with us in the comment section below!