Monday, July 13, 2009

Portland Japanese Garden

After visiting the International Rose Test Garden we walked across the street to the Japanese Garden.  The Rose Garden was awesome.  The Japanese Garden was awe-inspiring--a true work of art.

Unlike the Rose Garden which was free, the Japanese Garden charged an admittance fee, but it was well worth the cost.  This relatively small 5.5 acre park is as authentic a Japanese Garden as you will encounter outside Japan.  Design for the garden began in the early 60s and was finally opened to the public in 1967.

Although they had guided tours, we strolled along on our own enjoying the simple beauty created from plants, water, and stone.  We passed numerous waterfalls, streams, and ponds as we meandered along the paths which connected each of the different areas.  The tinkling sound of the water was very soothing and created a relaxed atmosphere--one conducive to meditation and quiet introspection.

Typical Japanese statuary was tucked in between ferns and lush moss covered tree branches and stones.  One pagoda lantern was a gift from Portland’s sister city in Japan--Sapporo.

One of our favorite areas was the Japanese Iris Garden.  I wish I had held my hand in the photo to give an idea of the size of the bloom.  It was easily as large as a man’s hand.  The zen rock gardens were also impressive in their simplicity.

If you’re ever in the Portland area, I definitely recommend both the Rose Garden and the Japanese Garden.

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