Landscape Expert from Japan Evaluated MRU's Friendship Garden and Environs - MRU

16 June, 2023
Landscape Expert from Japan Evaluated MRU’s Friendship Garden and Environs
King Sejong Institute

June 16th, 2023, representatives of the Japanese Embassy in Lithuania and  Naoki Ishii, President of the Japanese landscaping company, “Ishii Zouen Landscape Company,” visited Mykolas Romeris University (MRU). They examined MRU’s "Friendship Garden", where 24 sakuras have already been planted and bloom each year. The guests discussed possibilities of cooperation in helping to create a sustainable landscape on campus. MRU is located not far from the Verkių Regional Park, a favorite of both tourists and locals.

A Beautiful Environment - a Harmonious Community

The beautiful MRU campus is cared for by MRU maintenance expert Ivanas Šimelionis, who attended the meeting with Japanese landscape Co president Ishii and Embassy officials. On campus grounds, sustainability, and a community spirit are especially cherished. MRU Faculty of Human and Social Studies Prof. Dr. Gražina Čiuladienė, an expert on Japanese language and culture, told the guests from Japan that the Japanese tradition of enjoying blooming sakuras together has also become popular at MRU. Each year the Sakura Blossom Festival is held in the "Friendship Garden", which MRU students from Japan are happy to attend. It has also become a traditional event on campus for students, staff and local residents.

Lithuania’s Japanese garden creator Kęstutis Ptakauskas presented the idea of such a garden and selected the sakuras for the MRU “Friendship Garden.” He is also well known to the landscape specialists at the "Ishii Zouen Landscape Co." The 39 trees growing in MRU’s "Friendship Garden" have their own names - "Freedom", "Courage", "Respect for Human Rights", "Peace", "Justice" and others that symbolize the common values of humanity.

MRU’s Asian Center administrator Karolina Zakarauskaitė, spoke about the multifaceted activities of this Center. She discussed cooperation with Japanese academic and other institutions in developing a deeper understanding of Japanese history and culture. Cultural exchanges help to acquaint with other cultures and nationalities, not only at MRU, where students from 58 countries study, but also throughout the entire Lithuanian society.

University "Home Grown” Honey Heading to Japan

Architect Marius Brežinskas, Head of MRU's Infrastructure Development Centre, acquainted Naoki Ishii with MRU's landscape management plans. The guests from Japan were interested in the beehives built on the roof of the MRU building, where an international group of researchers from the Environmental Management Laboratory work. The beehives are located there and already there is honey. MRU representatives promised to send University Bee Honey to the guests from Japan.

Ishii Zouen Landscape Co. is a landscape company specializing in the design and construction of parks, streets, gardens, residential gardens, and private parks. The company has made a significant contribution to the development of the landscape of the city of Yokohama and local communities. The garden, designed by the company in Yokohama, is recognized as one of the most popular gardens and is admired by tourists from all over the world.

The president of the company provided advice and many useful tips on how to continue to develop the "Friendship Garden" and create a unified ecosystem around the university.

"The advice and insights of Japanese specialists in creating and developing the infrastructure of MRU's academic campus are very useful for us," said architect Brežinskas. "We hope that our cooperation will contribute to the well-being of the community and the creation of a cozy space on the Didlaukis academic campus."