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Finding Serenity in the Japanese Garden of Portland, Oregon
The Japanese Garden of Portland, Oregon can be found in Washington Park and if one wishes to find serenity, this beautifully designed garden will provide the perfect place.
Vacationing one summer with my mother and niece, we had hoped to escape some of Houston's summer heat. So we planned a trip to Oregon which is in the Northwest part of the United States thinking that we would enjoy some cooler temperatures for our two week stay.
Alas!...a headline in The Oregonian which is the Portland, Oregon's newspaper read the following on August 4, 1987: "August sun roasts Oregonians..." Despite some record breaking heat we started our sightseeing and were delighted to find the soothing and restful grounds of Portland's Japanese Garden.
Strolling Pond Garden
Even if the day was hotter than normal, walking through a garden filled with design elements including (but not limited to) artistically placed rocks, plants and trees of varying heights and color hues, shimmering fish in the tranquil ponds of water and other discoveries, it engaged us in something so enjoyable that the heat was almost forgotten.
There are five distinct garden styles within the Japanese Garden and the Strolling Pond Garden is one that is aptly named.
The bridge pictured in some of my photos in the Strolling Pond Garden is called The Moon Bridge and was constructed from a typical Japanese design.
Wandering through this Strolling Pond Garden which is the largest of the five gardens within the Japanese Garden, the water reflections bounce back distorted images of the surrounding plants, rocks and even passing clouds in the sky.
This provides great subject matter for plein air painters or photographers who wish to freeze some of these delightful images in place for remembering at a later date.
The crane in the photo above is a typical sculpture found in Japanese Gardens no matter where in the world the gardens are located. It seems to fit in nicely with this aquatic setting.
Views / Japanese Garden / Portland, Oregon
The Flat Garden
In gardens like this the sand is carefully raked into patterns symbolizing waves in the sea and not a footprint is to be seen by the people who carefully instill these designs into the sand.
Professor P. Takuma Tono was the designer of Portland's Japanese Garden and the five distinct areas within the garden. He is internationally recognized as being an expert in Japanese garden designs and Portland's Japanese Garden (of all the hundreds in the world outside of Japan) ranks at the top in authenticity.
This Flat Garden was next to the Garden Pavilion of which I did not take a photo. The Pavilion is generally used for Japanese type events as well as Society functions. It is not typically open to the public.
On the East side of the Pavilion a panoramic view of the City of Portland as well as the snow capped Mount Hood can be seen from this elevated position. What a spectacular view!
View of Portland, Oregon from Japanese Garden
The Natural Garden
In this portion of the garden one discovers small waterfalls splashing into streams of water with colorful fish swimming in the company of one another.
Trails lead one under native trees which form a protective canopy of shade for the ferns and mosses which thrive in this environment.
Other colorful shrubs and flowers as well as the occasional sculpture add punctuation marks to this serene setting.
The other two gardens within the main Japanese Garden are called the Sand and Stone Garden and Tea Garden.
Portland's Japanese Garden sits on only five and a half acres which is not particularly large, but one is invited to linger...perhaps even meditate...in all of the various settings within this invitingly scenic garden.
Japanese Garden in Portland
Blossoms on trees, shrubs and flowers would make visiting Portland's Japanese Garden a treat for the senses and would offer variety from season to season.
I can just imagine the gorgeous colors of the azalea bushes in the Spring of the year or the multitudes of irises in bloom in early Summer and the spectacular colored Fall leaves which would adorn this garden! Winter of course would serve up its special kind of pristine beauty.
We were on a tour of the city and while sufficient time was certainly allotted for enjoyment of the Japanese Garden my mother, niece and I had to keep up with our tour group in moving throughout the grounds.
Finding serenity in the Japanese Garden of Portland, Oregon would not be a difficult task. Hopefully you enjoyed this look at some of the beauty that we enjoyed on that day many years ago via these photos.
Would you wish to spend some time in this lovely garden?
© 2010 Peggy Woods