• New Garden Spaces

    The Entry Garden

    For 52 years, the Garden’s front entrance in Washington Park has remained relatively invisible–a challenge for visitors to find their way to the Garden at the top of the hill. A new water garden of cascading ponds will welcome visitors with a strong first impression, and serve as prelude to the Garden they will experience at the top of the hill. The journey to the Garden begins here at the water’s edge, as if the visitor were setting foot on land from a voyage across the Pacific from Japan or disembarking from the Willamette or Columbia River, which were the original highways of this region.

    Towering firs and cedars grow naturally along the hillside-a lush native forest. Now, the Garden will subtly edit nature, growing moss beneath the trees as a tribute to the famous gardens of Japan’s old imperial city of Kyoto. The ancient trees growing out of moss-covered slopes quiet the mind and refresh the spirit as visitors continue their journey towards the Garden at the top of the hill. Water running down the hill is gathered into a symbolic creek bed, full in winter and drying out during summer.

  • New Garden Spaces

    Ellie M. Hill Bonsai Terrace

    The art of bonsai, the creation of a miniaturized landscape that fulfills the human yearning for a connection to nature in the smallest of spaces, will be on display here throughout the year with rotating seasonally resplendent specimens. Japanese gardens embody the art of human hands cooperating with nature and age to create beauty and meaning. Bonsai condense this same art into a concentrated form, illuminating the compelling results that occur when nature, time, and humanity work together.

  • New Garden Spaces

    Tsubo-niwa

    After climbing the hillside via the pathway or aboard a shuttle bus, visitors arrive at the plateau that accommodates the new Cultural Village. In the center of the Village Courtyard, a modern Japanese garden style known as tsubo-niwa (tiny urban garden) greets visitors. The word for ‘household’ in Japanese is a combination of the kanji (ideograph) for ‘house’ and ‘garden.’ The tiny urban garden is Japan’s answer in modern times to the need for every home to include a garden. Occupying very little actual space, this tiny urban garden nonetheless incorporates each essential element of a Japanese garden–stone, water, and plants–and unobtrusively places nature as the central focus of the Cultural Village.

  • New Garden Spaces

    Bill de Weese Chabana Research Garden

    Moving further uphill, from the 2nd story terrace of the Village House, one steps into a garden that echoes, faintly, an alpine meadow in the Cascade Mountains. Here, Japan’s native wildflowers are cultivated to be used in tea ceremony, which is demonstrated for Garden visitors on a regular basis as an integral part of a Japanese garden experience. Chado (tea ceremony) is a social ritual intended to restore harmony between individuals and between humanity and nature. Chabana (tea flower) refers to native Japanese flowers, which have been grown and treasured for hundreds of years as seasonal centerpieces for tea ceremony. This will be the only garden in North America devoted to cultivating traditional Japanese Tea Flowers.

    Nestled behind the Bill de Weese Chabana Garden marks the highest point of the hillside-the symbolic space where heaven and earth might meet. Falling, pooling waters surrounding stone columns of Columbia River basalt suggest the summits rising above the steep slopes of the Columbia Gorge. Overlaid onto this northwest landscape reference is the columns’ similarity to Takachiho Gorge in southern Japan. Like the Columbia Gorge, Takachiho Gorge is a place of moss and mist, deep ravines, cascading waterfalls and prominent geologic landmarks. Tradition holds that this is the place where the sun goddess Amaterasu’s grandson, Ninigi-no-Mikoto, descended to earth to establish Japan’s imperial family.

    Since many chabana plants are fragile and cultivated on steep terrains, there will be no access to this garden for the public.

New Garden Spaces

The Entry Garden

For 52 years, the Garden’s front entrance in Washington Park has remained relatively invisible–a challenge for visitors to find their way to the Garden at the top of the hill. A new water garden of cascading ponds will welcome visitors with a strong first impression, and serve as prelude to the Garden they will experience at the top of the hill. The journey to the Garden begins here at the water’s edge, as if the visitor were setting foot on land from a voyage across the Pacific from Japan or disembarking from the Willamette or Columbia River, which were the original highways of this region.

Towering firs and cedars grow naturally along the hillside-a lush native forest. Now, the Garden will subtly edit nature, growing moss beneath the trees as a tribute to the famous gardens of Japan’s old imperial city of Kyoto. The ancient trees growing out of moss-covered slopes quiet the mind and refresh the spirit as visitors continue their journey towards the Garden at the top of the hill. Water running down the hill is gathered into a symbolic creek bed, full in winter and drying out during summer.

New Garden Spaces

Ellie M. Hill Bonsai Terrace

The art of bonsai, the creation of a miniaturized landscape that fulfills the human yearning for a connection to nature in the smallest of spaces, will be on display here throughout the year with rotating seasonally resplendent specimens. Japanese gardens embody the art of human hands cooperating with nature and age to create beauty and meaning. Bonsai condense this same art into a concentrated form, illuminating the compelling results that occur when nature, time, and humanity work together.

New Garden Spaces

Tsubo-niwa

After climbing the hillside via the pathway or aboard a shuttle bus, visitors arrive at the plateau that accommodates the new Cultural Village. In the center of the Village Courtyard, a modern Japanese garden style known as tsubo-niwa (tiny urban garden) greets visitors. The word for ‘household’ in Japanese is a combination of the kanji (ideograph) for ‘house’ and ‘garden.’ The tiny urban garden is Japan’s answer in modern times to the need for every home to include a garden. Occupying very little actual space, this tiny urban garden nonetheless incorporates each essential element of a Japanese garden–stone, water, and plants–and unobtrusively places nature as the central focus of the Cultural Village.

New Garden Spaces

Bill de Weese Chabana Research Garden

Moving further uphill, from the 2nd story terrace of the Village House, one steps into a garden that echoes, faintly, an alpine meadow in the Cascade Mountains. Here, Japan’s native wildflowers are cultivated to be used in tea ceremony, which is demonstrated for Garden visitors on a regular basis as an integral part of a Japanese garden experience. Chado (tea ceremony) is a social ritual intended to restore harmony between individuals and between humanity and nature. Chabana (tea flower) refers to native Japanese flowers, which have been grown and treasured for hundreds of years as seasonal centerpieces for tea ceremony. This will be the only garden in North America devoted to cultivating traditional Japanese Tea Flowers.

Nestled behind the Bill de Weese Chabana Garden marks the highest point of the hillside-the symbolic space where heaven and earth might meet. Falling, pooling waters surrounding stone columns of Columbia River basalt suggest the summits rising above the steep slopes of the Columbia Gorge. Overlaid onto this northwest landscape reference is the columns’ similarity to Takachiho Gorge in southern Japan. Like the Columbia Gorge, Takachiho Gorge is a place of moss and mist, deep ravines, cascading waterfalls and prominent geologic landmarks. Tradition holds that this is the place where the sun goddess Amaterasu’s grandson, Ninigi-no-Mikoto, descended to earth to establish Japan’s imperial family.

Since many chabana plants are fragile and cultivated on steep terrains, there will be no access to this garden for the public.