SINGAPORE - Gardens by the Bay is bringing a taste of the Land of the Rising Sun to Singapore with a new Japanese-inspired attraction.
The minimalist Serene Garden has been created by Japanese landscape designer Jun-ichi Inada and includes plants such as podocarpus, juniper and bamboo, as well as 160 rocks from Shikoku island.
By next April, there will also be a new Floral Fantasy attraction at Bayfront precinct featuring four themed landscapes.
It comes as the Gardens look to cater to rising visitor numbers, having welcomed its 50 millionth visitor last month since opening in 2012.
Annual visitorship is expected to hit 12 million by the end of this year, with half the visits by local residents.
The 20,000 sq m Serene Garden is already open to the public, although a teahouse is still being built in front of its pond.
Floral Fantasy will feature a landscape called Dance with flowering plants, such as orchids, suspended from the ceiling so that they move in a synchronised fashion. Other flowers on display include hydrangeas and gerberas.
The exhibit will also have a 4D multi-sensory ride, following the journey of a dragonfly's flight path through Gardens by the Bay.
The Bayfront precinct, outside Bayfront MRT station, has been revamped to include a 1,850 sq m pavilion which is expected to host weekend pop-up markets and other community events.
There will also be an eatery, an additional visitor centre and ticketing hub.
"Many of our visitors have given feedback that Gardens by the Bay is getting crowded… especially during weekends," said its chief executive Felix Loh, explaining why the Gardens' offerings are being spread out.
Project manager Muhammad Khairi, 32, who was the Gardens' 50th million visitor, said his family goes there about three times a year and they look forward to seeing the new attractions.
"(They) will mean more things for us to do when we visit, as well as encourage more Singaporeans to come and enjoy themselves amid nature," he said. "We like the new Serene Garden as it is more quiet and gives us more space to roam, and our children to run around as well."
Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong visited a media preview of the new attractions on Saturday (Nov 24).