Pamplona's Japanese Beauty: Yamaguchi Park
Pamplona is a city with many beautiful parks and plazas. However, there is one park that stands apart from the others. This park is the only one that was designed in a Japanese fashion. The only park with a planetarium, large open spaces, a Japanese botanical garden and more. Yamaguchi Park is definitely worth experiencing.
Yamaguchi Park is in a vibrant part of town. Surrounded by restaurants and condominiums, Parque Yamaguchi provides a unique cosmopolitan experience unlike other parks of Pamplona. This expansive park is the perfect place to unwind and relax.
Located a short distance from the University of Navarra, Yamaguchi Park is a popular spot for the student population to gather and relax. The vast area of greenery allows for many different pockets of people to lounge and picnic.
Yamaguchi, Japan is the sister city of Pamplona. The two cities have had a distant relationship dating back to the 16th century. Saint Javier Francisco spent time on a missionary trip in Yamaguchi.
The two cities officially became sister cities in 1988. The Yamaguchi Park was later designed in 1997 to commemorate the relationship. A team of Japanese landscapers designed this 80,000 square meters (861,112 square feet) of park that pays tribute to the four seasons. There are more than a thousand different species of vegetation in Yamaguchi Park.
Jardin de la Galaxia
The Jardin de la Galaxia (Galaxy Garden) is located in the south western part of Yamaguchi Park, next to the Pamplona Planetarium. This garden was a collaboration between the Pamplona Planetarium and City Council. The Pamplona Planetarium was built in 1993 and has one of the largest projection domes in the world.
The goal of the Galaxy Garden is to replicate the Milky Way to scale. It contains over 500 plants that are meant to symbolize the millions of stars, moons, and other elements that make up the Milky Way. The Galaxy Garden contains an area of 47.25 meters. Its 30 meter diameter scales out to 100,000 light years.
The Botanical Garden
The Yamaguchi Botanical Garden is located in the center of the park and contains many cool features. Firstly, there is a nice walking trail that goes around a large pond. Around the pond are a variety of different Japanese trees and floral species.
On the south west side of the pond there is a Japanese style pergola known as a stilt house. This stilt house is a great place to watch the ducks swim. It is also a prime location to watch the geyser in the middle of the pond. The geyser makes the atmosphere so much more relaxing and tranquil. It shoots water upwards roughly 6 meters (20 feet) before peacefully falling towards the pond.
At the far end of the pond, a Japanese-styled waterfall surrounded by unique plants spills over rocks below and slows into a trickling creek. An ornamental bridge offers amazing views, sounds and a sense of being transported to a distant land.
At the far end of the pond is a Japanese style waterfall that spills over the rocks below. There is a cute bridge that crosses the trickling creek. Surrounding the waterfall are a variety of ornamental plants including a Japanese cherry tree. It's a serene area calming the mind.
The path over the bridge leads around the pond where there is a secondary trail of wooden planks. Floating on a small marsh, these planks rise and fall with the water level. On sunny days you may find an inspired artist sketching the stunning scenery.
Yamaguchi Park is a park unlike any other. It has a planetarium, galaxy garden, Japanese beauty and much more. If you have not had the chance to spend some time at Yamaguchi Park you're missing out. It's splendid.