Japanese Garden Portland - A Place Of Peace

portland japanese garden

The Japanese Garden in Portland is one of the more amazing Portland attractions you'll visit. I really love going and just taking a good, long time to stroll. With all the troubles of life, this is a perfect place to put it all behind you for a while and just unwind.

There are 5.5 acres for you to roam and 5 distinctive gardens that make up the Portland Japanese Garden. Japanese culture has always been very organized and there seems to be a reason for everything.

japanese garden lantern

It all started in 1958, when the people of Portland formed a relationship with Sapporo,  Japan, which became our sister city. In the summer of 1967, the Japanese Garden in Portland opened to the public and presently 200,000 visitors each year come to take in it's the beauty.

All the individual gardens are filled and set up to generate the highest levels of peace and tranquility. The use of plants, stone and water are methodical. So much so, that when the Ambassador of Japan, Nobuo Matsunaga, visited our Japanese Garden in 1988, he declared it as the most authentic Japanese Garden outside of Japan. Needless to say, what a huge honor that was!

japanese garden waterfall

As I was saying, the Japanese Garden in Portland is made up of 5 distinctive gardens: the Natural Garden, the Flat Garden, the Strolling Pond Garden, the Tea Garden and, my favorite, the Sand and Stone Garden. It's my favorite because the lay out is just so peaceful.

It's difficult to convey why sand and stone would be peaceful. You just have to experience it yourself and you'll understand. ;) They also have a little gift shop there where you can purchase all sorts of wonderful making-memories stuff.

They hold events throughout the year. One that is very cool is the ongoing Tea Ceremony Demonstrations. Just like anything else, the preparation and serving of tea has deep meaning and purpose. This particular event is held the 3rd Saturday of every month during the summer, from 1-2 pm.

I shot a video for the Portland Japanese Garden a while back, where a lady was demonstrating the art of Furoshiki, which is a traditional Japanese way of wrapping gifts. The video is below.

The Japanese Garden in Portland Oregon is very accommodating to all visitors. If you have a disability, your service animal is allowed (no pets in the Garden otherwise) and permit parking is available. You can also get a shuttle to take you from the parking lot to the gate. Open all year round, with the exception of Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Years Day, you can visit any day of the week.

Summer Season - April 1-September 30th
10 am-7 pm, Tuesday through Sunday and noon to 7pm on Mondays

Winter Season - Oct 1-March 31
10 am-4 pm, Tuesday through Sunday and noon to 4pm on Mondays

japanese garden fountain

You can opt for a guided tour or private tour, if you like, rather than venturing off on  your own. The tours typically run around an hour and you'll learn everything there is to know about the Portland Japanese Garden, history and more.

You are not allowed to bring any food or drinks into the Garden, with the exception of water. There is no restaurant on the premises, so it may be in your best interest to eat before you come. The last thing you want is your stomach growling and breaking your peace of mind. ;)

You are allowed to bring cameras in, but you have to stay within the rules to do so. Other than a few rules to follow, the Japanese Garden Portland is yours to explore and enjoy.

japanese garden bridge

It's located in Washington Park, where the old Portland Zoo used to be and just a stones throw  from the Rose Test Gardens. You have a beautiful view of downtown Portland and Mt. Hood from up there. To get to Washington Park from the downtown area, you can take the TriMet bus #63.

If you have all day, you can go all out and visit the Rose Gardens, Japanese Garden and the Portland Zoo and not have to drive any further for any of them. Bring a picnic lunch and make a complete day of it. Sounds cool, eh?

Like some other Portland attractions, the Portland Japanese Garden is funded by private donations, grants and admissions. They always are very appreciative of donations to keep it maintained and running.

Portland Japanese Garden
611 SW Kingston Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97205

Portland Japanese Garden Fact Sheet (pdf)

Portland Japanese Garden Background Info (pdf)

Get tons more information, including admission prices, at the Portland Japanese Garden web site.

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