The Portland Japanese Garden is beautifully situated in the west hills high above the city. It’s a 10-minute walk along a forest trail to the admission booth (we did see a free shuttle if needed).
At five and a half acres, this is space meant to be enjoyed over the course of several hours. It’s also considered the most authentic Japanese garden in the world, outside of Japan.
According to the guided map/brochure, the garden was designed by professor and landscape architect Takuma Tono in 1963 and encompasses five separate garden styles, an authentic Japanese Tea House, and a spectacular view of Mt. Hood.
It was feasible to build the garden in Portland since the climate is similar to central Japan’s. Tono passed away in 1985, leaving behind a legacy of several landscape design projects in both Japan and the United States.
Filled with ponds, bridges, waterfalls and a sand and stone garden, we were captivated by the tranquility and scents of the lush greens.
Our good friend Cathy Browne joined us for the visit, and we each had our Nikon DSLR camera out to capture the early afternoon light.
Guided 45-minute public and private (for groups of 10 or more) tours of the garden are available. It’s also worth mentioning that if you’re bringing in a camera, photography is only allowed for noncommercial use, and there’s an additional $2 fee for bringing in a tripod.
The Portland Japanese Garden is located at 611 SW Kingston Avenue. More information can be found on the website.