Northwest Travels

Part 3: The Portland Japanese Garden

The Portland Japanese Garden is considered by most to be the most authentic Japanese Garden outside of Japan.

Created in 1963 in the hills of Portland’s old growth Washington Park, this is a visit that anyone should see when in the Portland area, whether a garden lover or not.

The garden features eight different authentic Japanese garden styles on display, as well as Japanese cultural demonstrations. The mission of the garden is perfectly stated: to bring to the world, art of craft, connection to nature and experience of peace.

Come along with us for an armchair visit to one of the great gardens of the world and experience craft, nature and peace.

 

Japanese Garden

From the moment you enter the Portland Japanese Garden your body and mind are immediately enveloped in the calming beauty of nature. The entire garden is a celebration of our amazing natural world.

Japanese Garden

Peace and tranquility is everywhere in this garden – and nature’s perfect beauty is the star of the show.

Japanese Garden
Japanese Garden

The Garden sits nestled in the hills of Portland, Oregon’s iconic Washington Park, overlooking the city and providing a tranquil, urban oasis for locals and travelers. Designed over 55 years ago, it encompasses 12 acres and contains eight separate garden styles, including an authentic Japanese Tea House, meandering streams, intimate walkways, and a spectacular view of Mt. Hood.

This is a place to discard worldly thoughts and concerns and see oneself as a small but integral part of the universe.

Japanese Garden

Water is a key element in all Japanese gardens. The shape and placement of every stone is very thoughtful to create a scene like this.

Japanese Garden
Japanese Garden
Japanese Garden

The cultivation of moss is at its best here. It appears to be growing effortlessly on every piece of soil and even on tree trunks and roofs. Indeed though, it is painstakingly cultivated, much like the balance of the garden.

Japanese Garden

The ancient tradition of bonsai is well performed at the garden.

The renown collection here is looked after by none othher than Michael Hagedorn, the internationally renown bonsai master. Michael is a role model for many other bonsai students. He studied bonsai in the United States and completed his studies in Japan under the appreticeship of master Shinji Suzuki. These plants are from Michael’s personal collection.

Japanese Garden

This Juniperus scopulorum dates to 500 years.

Japanese Garden

This lovely tray of pines were captured well be the surrounding native pines framing the garden.

Japanese Garden
Japanese Garden

Of course maples are traditional bonsai subjects and some extraordinary exaples were in the current show.

Japanese Garden

The large Japanese maples throughout the garden were each and every one a magnificent work of art. Expertly pruned and maintained. Take a moment and enjoy the next few images of only a few of the many incredible maples in the Portland Japanese Garden.

Japanese Garden
Japanese Garden

Japanese rock gardens, (also called karesansui), dry landscape gardens or even a zen gardens are traditional Japanese miniature stylized landscapes. They are painstaking and carefully created arrangement of rocks, often with water features, moss, pruned trees and shrubs. The gravel is raked to represent ripples in water.

Traditional Zen gardens were created at Zen Buddhism temples in Japan and intended to imitate the essence of nature; not its actual appearance, but to serve as an aid to meditation about the true meaning of life.

Japanese Garden

Japanese gardens are often about small, near and personal views, where each person can relate in a different manner.

Japanese Garden

An incredible celebration of nature.

Japanese Garden

Flowers would only spoil this scene.

Japanese Garden

We hope you have enjoyed our visit to the Portland Japanese Garden and that you will visit as well when you are in the area.

Thank you for coming along with the Roger’s Gardens team to the Oregon and Washington area.

In Part 1 of this three-part visit we toured the nation’s finest Christmas tree growers on the slopes of the Cascade Mountains.  Part 2 took us to two of the most respected plant growers in the country.   And Part 3 was a visit to one of the world’s greatest Japanese gardens.

Ron Vanderhoff

Part 1 Part 2