The Japanese Garden located at 611 S.W. Kingston Ave. in Portland, Oregon offers public tours three times a day during April 1 to October 31 at 10:45 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. The tours are free with admission and there is no reservation required. On Monday, the Garden opens at noon with the first tour starting at 1:00 p.m.

It is a private, not-for-profit organization. Funds are received entirely from donations, memberships, memorials, grants and gate admissions. The Japanese Garden was formed in the early 1960s. Portland citizens wanted to promote a more intimate relationship between the peoples of Japan, and Portland, Oregon. Portland became a sister city to Sapporo, Japan in the year of 1958. This relationship created a broad interest in Japanese culture.

In the spring at the Japanese Garden you can expect to see fresh greenery and subtle blossoms. The cherry blossoms appear for a short time in late February. The late spring flowers include azalea, camellia, and wisteria. Summer brings several shades of green to the Japanese Garden that creates a calming visual experience. The fall is a popular visiting time to see vibrant colors as a celebration of nature’s gift of life from the past year, and a transition period to the peace of wintertime. Winter in the Japanese Garden brings a pure essence and quiet beauty. Although fall seems to be the most popular to visit the Japanese Garden, any time of the year is a visually pleasing experience as well as calming for the emotions.

It takes visitors about 45 minutes to one hour to tour all five gardens, however, this depends upon your individual pace while touring. The Garden receives the most visitors on weekends, and each Monday morning, the gardeners require six hours to care for the Garden.

The Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon offers events throughout the year which include:

• Traditional festivals
• Ikebana exhibits
• Art shows
• Workshops

Some events are free with the admission fee to the Gardens, while others require an additional small fee. Contact them at 503-223-9233 for a calendar of events.

While touring the Japanese Garden one gets the feeling of being on an estate in pre-modern Japan. The garden occupies over five acres of wooded land and is surrounded by an additional five acres of protected forest. The architecture, the Antique Gate, Pavilion, Tea House, Moonbridge and Zig Zag Bridge all fit harmoniously into an outdoor garden setting. The basic elements are plants, stones and water. The vistas, landscapes and winding pathways are created for leisure and meditation. There are five traditional Japanese garden styles from a very formal style into a rustic or natural style.

All other Japanese gardens in the United States are mostly connected to city park systems or botanical garden societies. The Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon by contrast is independent, not-for-profit devoted solely to the Japanese Garden. It operates year-round through admissions, membership dues and donations.

The Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon originally obtained “shirakawa” sand from Japan. The rounded edges were ideal for holding raked patterns. Currently, Japan rarely exports this resource, the Garden uses sand from a Canada source that nearly replicates the sand from Japan.

The Japanese Garden has a gift store.

The Japanese Garden encourages group tours. Reservations are required. For more information contact their tour coordinator at 503-223-9233.

Source: The Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon Online

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© 2007 Connie Limon All Rights Reserved

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Written by: Connie Limon. For more vacation ideas visit For a variety of FREE reprint articles and special topic articles rarely found elsewhere visit Camelot Articles at