The peaceful sounds and intriguing ideas of Dubbo Shoyoen Japanese Gardens have been captured and developed into an interactive mobile app available as a free download for all to enjoy.
Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) staff worked with local digital content producer Kim V. Goldsmith to create the Shoyoen Sound Walk experience available on izi.TRAVELapp – an international mobile app for self-guided sound walks and tours.
After downloading and activating the app, through the use of geolocated points on a map, walking triggers audio for the listener. The walks can be previewed and accessed at any time, or used on-site in the gardens, providing information about the garden’s features, the context of the sister city Dubbo/Minokama relationship, and information about Japanese culture, such as the ceremony of the tea.
Mayor Mathew Dickerson said he was delighted to see the use of technology improving the visitor experience.
“Everyone knows I love technology, this new addition to an already wonderful community facility means people can fully immerse themselves in the experience of the gardens. It’s like having a personal tour guide in your pocket,” Mayor Dickerson said.
This Shoyoen Sound Walk izi.TRAVEL tour was created over six months in 2021-22 for Dubbo Regional Council, with the help of Dubbo Regional Council’s Sister Town Manager, Kylie Sutherland.
The walk’s narrator is Emily Phimmachanh, a distance education English/Japanese teacher.
The soundtrack for the walk is an original composition titled “Gardens Heartbeat”, using taiko drum, flute and hyōshigi, composed and performed by Georgie Saunders.
In-app photography was provided by Kylie Sutherland and Kim V. Goldsmith.
Ms Sutherland said the app is simple and easy to use for everyone.
“This app can be used by people of all technical abilities, the Shoyoen Sound Walk tour is a great way for people of all ages to learn about the special history between the two sister cities of Dubbo and Minokamo” , she said.
The app is free to download and includes 1500 tours worldwide. Visitors to the gardens can find a QR on site and follow the instructions.