Waterfalls, flowers, and tranquillity can all be found in this authentic, idyllic Japanese garden in Portland.
An afternoon of peaceful relaxation awaits in the serene setting of the Portland Japanese Garden. The fee to enter includes the price of a 45-minute guided tour, and the garden is open daily with the exception Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Check out their website for details, as the opening times vary between Mondays and the rest of the week.
There are five distinct areas in the Portland Japanese Garden: the Flat Garden, the Strolling Pond Garden, the Sand and Stone Garden, the Natural Garden, and the Tea Garden. The gardens span about 2.25 hectares and seek to give visitors the feeling of being a part of nature. Stroll slowly from garden to garden and pay special attention to the beauty in all the small details.
Discover the harmony between human creation and nature as you watch the moss creep along the stones placed by man in the Natural Garden. The bold colours in the Flat Garden are created by nature and change according to the season. Vividly coloured maple leaves appear here in the fall, and cherry tree blossoms take the stage in the spring. When you stop by the Sand and Stone area, you will notice the lines drawn in the sand with a rake, just as is done in the Zen gardens of Japanese monasteries. For an authentic Japanese experience, head to the Tea Garden where true-to-life Tea Ceremonies are held every third Saturday of the month.
The Strolling Pond Garden is the largest of the five areas. It features a stunning display of stones which shape the Big Dipper constellation. Visitors can walk across a handmade Moon Bridge, which is designed with a high arch so the reflection in the water forms a circle symbolizing the moon. The Strolling Pond Garden is also home to a 100-year-old, five-story Pagoda Lantern, which was a gift from Portland’s sister city of Sapporo, Japan.
Sign up for one of the gardening workshops or attend one of the important Japanese cultural events taking place throughout the year, such as the Moon Viewing Festival or the highly significant Obon ceremony, when families put on a feast in honour of their dead. There is also a year-round Art in the Garden program for seasoned artists and novices alike.