Always wanted to go to the Japanese Garden but have been too cheap to cough up the 95-peso entry fee? Here’s your chance! The Japanese Garden is turning 50 years old this Sunday 4th June, and entry will be free all day. Such big birthdays deserve big celebrations, and this is no exception. Lucky for us, the Argentine-Japanese Cultural Foundation has some huge plans for the occasion. A wide range of recreational activities will be offered both in the Japanese Garden itself and on Av. Berro from 10 am to 6 pm.

Now let’s just bring some key facts to mind, shall we? This superb public space was completed in 1967 and inaugurated in 1969 by the Japanese community in Buenos Aires. One of the main purposes of its creation was to properly welcome the then Prince Akihito and Princess Michiko of Japan during a state visit to the country. Also, it was meant to show gratitude for Argentina’s warm reception of Japanese immigrants. It’s been managed by the Argentine-Japanese Cultural Foundation since 1989. Being one of the largest Japanese gardens in the world, it definitely succeeds at preserving and displaying historic heritage.

As for next Sunday’s schedule, there is a little something for everybody. Berro Avenue will become a pedestrian street for a day, filled with close to 100 stands — so handcrafts and material culture can be checked off the list. And of course, dancing and musical performances couldn’t be off the agenda; in fact, the closing act involves a massive participatory dance in the hope of ensuring good fortune for everybody.

Spreading Japanese culture is not just reserved for special dates, though. The Japanese Garden is a tranquil green space that provides a varied line-up of events, shows and exhibits throughout the whole year. However, it might not be an exaggeration to think the best of the best is yet to come.