A total culture shock in the Parc Oriental de Maulévrier!
A journey to the Land of the Rising Sun! Hidden away in the Mauges region, the Parc Oriental in Maulévrier is Europe's largest Japanese garden. Here are 5 good reasons to explore a site that invites you on a breathtaking journey.
1) For its authenticity and symbolism
It really feels as though you're in Japan. The Parc Oriental de Maulévrier, with its 400 plant species, faithfully recreates the gardens found throughout the Far-Eastern country. Examples of this include the waterways that criss-cross the site from East to West following the sun, to represent life, or the meditation hill, the typical red bridge, the crane islands, the tortoise and more...
2) For the unexpected pagoda
This astonishing building, which evokes an Alsatian dwelling blended with Asian influences, retraces the history of the park though a lovely collection of photos and highlights the similarities with its Japanese counterparts through a video. A magnificent garden of mosses, bamboos, ferns and colourful plants flourishes beside it.
3) For the night-time walks
The Parc Oriental de Maulévrier offers night-time strolls by lantern light. Its colourful illuminations are an invitation to dream and escape, revealing the elements that make it through the half-darkness. Over the course of the six stages of the circuit, with its magical atmosphere, participants can enjoy stories put to music and enhanced with visual effects.
4) For the host of activities on offer all year round
The park offers year-round courses in Ikebana, the Japanese floral art, as well as kyudo, an ancestral form of archery taught in a magnificent building. The site also holds the national bonsai fair as well as numerous events dedicated, for example, to Japanese drums, games, tea and even Hanami, the Japanese cherry blossom festival.
5) For the authentic tea room
At the end of a visit, there's nothing better than sitting in this lovely building or on its terrace to sip a tea prepared in true tradition. Don't forget to have a look at the nearby plant pavilion and its wonderful exhibition collection of bonsais, or the garden awareness space, which cleverly stimulates all five senses.