Kaiserslautern, or K-town, as the former American military personnel who resided here during the Cold War affectionately called it, is a charming town in Germany's Rhineland. For eco-minded tourists who enjoy activity in the great outdoors, Kaiserslautern offers many attractions including Gelterswoog Lake, the massive Palatinate Forest and the delightful Japanese Garden.
This massive lake is a popular recreation spot both for residents of Kaiserslautern and the surrounding area. It is home to two rowing teams that can often be found competing, a small hotel, a beach for swimming and water sports, as well as a camping ground. Boats may be rented on the lake. On warm days, you might want to consider renting a barbecue hut and enjoying a cookout.
The Japanese Garden
Kaiserslautern's Japanese Garden came about as a result of the town's close relationship with its Japanese sister city, Bunkyo-ku. Today, the Japanese Garden of Kaiserslautern is recognized as one of the most beautiful of its kind on the continent. Ponds, waterfalls, teahouses, stone arrangements, stone lanterns and artful arrangements of moss can all be experienced in this meditative oasis. Although it has only been open since 2000, the Japanese Garden somehow evinces a centuries-old feeling. You don't have to be a Buddhist to experience the Zen-like tranquility that this place offers up to its visitors. Admire the rich array of flora, including massive hazelnuts, rare tulip trees and old copper beeches. The Japanese Garden frequently features events such as painting and Ikebana courses, as well as exhibitions highlighting Japanese art and culture.
The Japanese Garden
011 (+49) 631 370 6600
Kaiserslautern has the distinction of containing the largest contiguous forest in all of Germany, the Palatinate Forest. It has been designated as a biosphere reservation by UNESCO, and offers an array of rare flora and fauna for adventurous nature-lovers to admire. With several thousand miles of hiking trails, there is never a dull moment in exploring these hilly, light-flooded woods. The tourist information center of Kaiserslautern can provide you with maps and itineraries for several different tailored hiking trails, depending on your interests. For instance, the Trail of Fountains will lead you to nine different fountains and natural springs via two separate routes. The most scenic tour is the Panorama Trail. History lovers will want to undertake the ambitious King Albrecht trail, named after the king who donated the forest to the people of Kaiserslautern back in 1303.
Tourist Information Center
011 (+49) 631 365 2317