Portland Oregon Japanese Garden

When you’re not really in the mood for being a part of Portland’s busyness and are seeking someplace tranquil and serene nearby, you can consider the magnificent Zen-like blissfulness of the Japanese Garden.

Portland Japanese Garden is among the most traditional and exotic sites in Oregon. It is a splendid combo of a traditional styled Japanese garden with a modern and distinct look. The garden occupies a total of 12 acres and is situated inside Washington Park, West Hills, Portland, Oregon.

What you can Experience?

According to recent visitors, the garden has been described as serene, beautiful, and tranquil. Also, they’re suggested pairing a trip for International Rose Test Garden with the visit of both gardens being at walking distance in Washington Park. Though the reviewers rave about the peaceful atmosphere of the Japanese Garden, they were also not much happy with the site’s entrance fee.

  • The Garden structure is composed of eight different gardens representing different styles of conventional gardening Japanese techniques.
  • All gardens inside the Japanese Garden have vital elements such as water, stone, and plants coming through influences from Buddhist, Taoist, and Shinto philosophies and they create a serene and unique environment where the visitors feel like they’re part of nature.
  • In the garden, you also get to see the renowned Tea House of Kashintei, where all visitors can also be a part of the traditional tea ceremony. Late March month visitors shouldn’t miss the chance of witnessing cherry blossoms in total bloom.
  • Visitors also get the benefit of guided free tours for learning about all specifics of all eight gardens that are located in here. Japanese Garden is situated in Washington Park’s northern section, in downtown Portland west.

You’re also able to drive towards the park, though the parking becomes a little tricky (mainly in summers) and is also a lot expensive. Availability for parking inside the park can be checked and confirmed online.

Some features of the Japanese Garden

  • The Japanese Portland garden also has a Strolling Pond Garden which is large and has various areas. The moon bridge has a creek flowing for connecting lower and upper ponds. The lower pond is home to different koi and also is a beautiful viewpoint of the lovely Heavenly Falls. Visitors also notice the five-tiered 100-year-old pagoda lantern, which is a gift of the sister city of Portland’s Sapporo with ornamental rocks that form Hokkaido island’s shape with a red Sapporo stone.
  • Various waterfalls, streams, and ponds can be seen in the Natural Garden with shrubs, trees, mosses, and ferns growing in the natural state.
  • The garden of Sand and Stone has weathered stones that rise through rippled sand suggestive of water. Tranquil rake patterns can often be seen in karesansui (the Japanese themed rock gardens).
  • Visitors will come across the famous Flat Garden which is a typical daimyo (feudal lord)’s villa garden with the Pavilion being reminiscent of the architectural style Kamakura period. The raked white sand consists of water while vividly contracting with moss, maple trees, azaleas, and evergreens.
  • Two areas are there for Tea Gardens, each being devoted to enhancing tea ceremony: the outer waiting area with the inner garden that surrounds authentic tea house and is constructed in Japan through the Kajima Construction Company. It got assembled onsite during 1968.

History of Portland Japanese Garden

In the year 1958, Portland was the sister city of Sapporo, Japan. It also inspired the Portland public officials and business leaders to form a Japanese garden in Portland city. In June month, 1962, a commission was formed by the city council for the establishment of the garden in Washington Park. The garden got built inside a forested hill in Washington Park on the land which previously was Portland’s zoo site until the year 1959. Professor Takuma Tono designed the Garden of Tokyo Agriculture University. The garden’s design began in the year 1963; in 1967 the garden got opened for the public.

A 2013 study by the Journal of Japanese gardening deemed the garden as the finest made public Japanese-styled garden in the North America of all 300 other gardens that got surveyed through Japanese garden experts. According to Nobuo Matsunaga, former U.S. Japanese ambassador, the garden was the “most authentic and beautiful Japanese garden outside of Japan.”

The bus service is available with TriMet no. 63 bus towards the Portland Japanese Garden and links to Oregon Zoo-Max stations with Providence Park. Tourists can also board the Blue or Red line MAX train towards Washington Park stop (zoo) and later can also have free Explore Washington Park Shuttle towards the garden.

Unlike all other gardens inside Washington Park, you’ll have to pay a sum for admission. The costs of admission is $16.95