Portland Japanese Garden Guide - The Portland Japanese Garden is a popular Portland attraction located on the edge of Downtown Portland in Washington Park. Proclaimed one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan, the Portland Japanese Garden is a 5.5-acre haven of tranquil beauty nestled in the scenic west hills of Portland, Oregon.
The Japanese Garden is one of my favorite locations in Portland, and I'm sure I am not alone with that opinion. The garden is peaceful and beautiful, and is full of gorgeous plants, trees, water features, and other Japanese inspired scenery. I find the garden changes throughout the seasons in Portland, but always offers something worth seeing. Throughout the year, the Japanese Garden offers special events and different exhibits, and the Japanese Garden gift shop is a great place to find unique gifts. The Japanese maple trees offer excellent photo opportunities for amateur and professional photographers. I personally have used the Portland Japanese garden as a source of inspiration for several oil paintings of the beautiful Japanese maple trees with graceful branches and delicate lace-like leaves. The garden is an amazing source of inspiration to all who visit, artist or not.
"The 5.5 acre Japanese Garden is composed of five distinct garden styles. When we enter a Japanese garden, the desired effect is to realize a sense of peace, harmony, and tranquility and to experience the feeling of being a part of nature. In a deep sense, the Japanese garden is a living reflection of the long history and traditional culture of Japan. Influenced by Shinto, Buddhist, and Taoist philosophies, there is always "something more" in these compositions of stone, water, and plants than meets the eye." (Source: JapaneseGarden.com)
Current Events at the Portland Japanese Garden
Five Festival Celebrations - The cycle of life from birth to death is reflected in the quiet passage of a year in the Garden. Out of the cold, barren days of winter, the first buds appear on the plum and reassure us that spring will come again.
Five Gardens at the Portland Japanese Garden
There are five distinct areas or garden styles that make up the overall Japanese gardens. (Source: JapaneseGarden.com)
Flat Garden - The Flat Garden (hira-niwa) is an example of how gardens in Japan have continued to develop the dry landscape style of the karesansui garden over time. In a garden such as this one, the designer worked to balance the relationship between the flat planes (the ground) and the volume of stones and clipped shrubbery and trees to create a sense of depth of space.
Stroll Garden - Our Stroll Garden (chisen kaiyu shiki teien) consists of Upper and Lower Ponds connected by an enticing stream. The Upper Pond features a Moon Bridge, while the Lower Pond has a zig-zag (or yatsuhashi) bridge through beds of iris against the backdrop of a stunning waterfall.
Tea Garden - Japanese tea garden (cha-niwa or roji) is a place for quiet reflection on the beauty of nature and the art of living in harmony with one another and with all things. Amid a wooded setting, a pathway with carefully placed stepping stones and lanterns leads through the rustic garden to the teahouse. The gardens are designed to present a peaceful, natural space that serves as an intervalboth in space and timea place to detach oneself from the hectic everyday world before entering the teahouse and the tranquil world of chanoyu (tea ceremony).
Natural Garden - The Natural Garden was created to be an environment that encourages visitors to rest, relax, and reflect on the very essence and brevity of life. This garden in its current configuration is the most recent addition to the Portland Japanese Garden, and it is also the most contemporary style, referred to as zoki no niwa, a style which includes plant materials that fall outside the list of plants traditionally associated with Japanese gardens.
Sand and Stone Garden - Gardens of raked sand (or gravel) and stone are referred to as karesansui (literally, "dry landscape") gardens. This style was developed in Japan in the later Kamakura period (11851333). Many Chinese landscape paintings of the Southern Sung dynasty were imported to Japan in the 14th and 15th centuries by Zen Buddhist priests, and they were emulated by Japanese artists like Sesshu (1420-1506).
Admission to the Portland Japanese Gardens
Your admission gains access to the Garden, the Garden Gift Store, and when offered, public tours and exhibitions. (Some special events are not included with admission. For more information, please see the events page.)
Admission prices effective January 1, 2010.
Garden Visitor Hours
Garden Mission and Values
The 5.5 acre Japanese Garden is composed of five distinct garden styles. When we enter a Japanese garden, the desired effect is to realize a sense of peace, harmony, and tranquility and to experience the feeling of being a part of nature. In a deep sense, the Japanese garden is a living reflection of the long history and traditional culture of Japan. Influenced by Shinto, Buddhist, and Taoist philosophies, there is always "something more" in these compositions of stone, water, and plants than meets the eye.
Portland Japanese Garden Directions and Map
We hope you enjoy your visit to the city of Roses and to the Portland Japanese Garden. If you have photos of the Portland Japanese Garden you'd like to share, please contact us or post them on the Portland photo gallery.
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