I went to the Portland Japanese Garden yesterday. As soon as I walked through the entrance of the garden I was hit by the simplicity of the creative setting.
The garden was designed by Professor Takuma Tono in 1963. It covers five and a half acres in the west hills of Portland. There are five garden styles with a Japanese Tea House, narrow pathways, wisteria arbor, and wandering streams.
The elements used in the design are stones, sand, water and plants. Stone lanterns, water basins, arbors, bridges, waterfalls, bamboo fences and small pools with koi are found. Each area of the garden has a place for visitors to sit and enjoy.
Going to the garden gave me a chance to take a short break from city life to have a little time to reflect on the harmony, peace and tranquility you can’t help but feel in this beautiful place . My favorite area was the Stone and Sand Garden. It is made of weathered stones placed in a bed of raked sand. The sand suggests the sea. Some of the stones transformed as my mind relaxed and viewed the shapes in the changing light.
I also enjoyed seeing the Poetry Stone which is inscribed with a haiku. The translation reads, “Here, miles from Japan. I stand as if warmed by the spring sunshine of home.” Since the visit was in the summer, I was almost overwhelmed by the many shades of green foliage.
As I meandered through the gardens I noticed that there are many flowering plants such as azalea, irises, rhodedendrons, cherry trees, and more. At this time they were not in bloom. So, I plan to come back as the seasons change to see how the colors and textures of the garden give a different impression of this cultural wonder.