Join me in a peaceful stroll through the Portland Japanese Garden, located in the hilltops overlooking Portland, Oregon.
I toured the Garden last summer and thought you might enjoy the calmness of these garden views that I photographed.
The Portland Japanese Garden is 12 acres and contains eight different styles of gardens.
The idea for the garden developed in the 1950s. The Portland mayor and members of the community decided to create a Japanese garden both to add a beautiful garden to Portland and to promote understanding and healing between the US and Japan, following World War II. The garden also reflected the growing cultural ties between Portland and Japan.
Professor Takuma Tono of Tokyo Agricultural University designed the garden, traveling between Portland and Japan from 1961-1967 to work on the Garden. The Garden was built on the location of the Washington Park Zoo and originally was 5.5 acres. The site was dedicated in 1961 and formally opened to the public in 1967.
As you begin your walk through the Garden, you pass the Kashintei Tea House. The tea house was constructed in Japan in 1968, shipped in two pieces, and reassembled in Portland.
You can see one of the many benches that are placed in the Garden, offering visitors the opportunity to sit and enjoy the view.
The Strolling Pond Garden is the largest of the eight gardens and includes ponds and waterways, providing reflection of plants and sky. Strolling ponds in Japan were part of the estates of feudal lords and aristocrats, with some being so large that they had to be viewed by boat.
Cranes are revered birds in Japan, so crane sculptures are included in many Japanese gardens. They represent peace, longevity, and luck. The cranes in the Portland Japanese Garden looked to be enjoying the afternoon sun.
Walking on the ZigZag Bridge is almost like walking on water, as you are just a few inches above the water. Colorful koa swam along with me. The still water was a mirror for the blue sky and clouds.
The 18-foot pagoda lantern is the Sapporo Lantern because it was presented to the City of Portland by the City of Sapporo, Japan. The lantern has five stories, symbolizing earth, water, fire, wind and sky.
The Sand and Stone Garden was created by Professor Takuma Tono in the 1960s. Referred to as a Zen meditation garden, the garden is an example of a karesansui garden — a dry landscape.
The Garden includes numerous Japanese Maples that call attention to themselves with their bright red leaves.
Professor Takuma Tono, designer of the Garden, said, “A Japanese garden is not only a place for the cultivation of trees and flowering shrubs, but one that provides secluded leisure, rest, repose, meditation, and sentimental pleasure.”
I hope this visual walking tour has provided you with a feeling of peace and calm.
Check the Portland Japanese Garden website for information about the Garden, more photos, and information about purchasing tickets to visit the Garden.