April 1 Sept 30: Tues-Sun, 10am-7pm; Mon, noon-7pm
Oct 1 - Mar 31: Tues-Sun, 10am-4pm; Mon, noon-4pm
Closed: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's.
Adults-$8; Sr. Citizens-$6.25; College Students-$6.25; and Students 6-17-$5.25; Children under 6 - free.
Daily guided tours April through October at 10:45am, 1:00pm and 2:30pm (on Mondays tours begin at 1:00pm).
Tours and school groups must contact the tour coordinator well in advance.
Added to JGarden:
Located above the Rose Test Gardens. Public transit available on Tri-Met Bus #63.
The Japanese Garden is actually a collection of five gardens of distinctive styles smoothly linked and draped across 5.5 acres of varied terrain. Designed by Professor Takuma Tono in 1963, the garden overlooks Portland and Mount Hood to the east.
The Strolling Pond Garden features a naturalistic waterfall and a zigzag bridge weaving through rafts of Japanese irises.
The Tea Garden, consisting of inner and outer gardens, contains a teahouse built in Japan with traditional carpentry techniques, as well as a machiai or waiting booth for tea ceremony guests.
The Natural Garden meanders down a hillside leading to the Sand and Stone Garden. The path is graced by peaceful nooks and crannies, various kinds of steps and stepping stones, tiny bridges, rivulets and shallow streams.
The Sand and Stone Garden, or karesansui, is an abstract composition surrounded by a mud-plastered wall similar in style to those often found at Zen temples in Japan.
The Flat Garden, with its raked gravel and moss islands shaped like a sake cup and gourd, is reminiscent of the garden at Sambo-in in Kyoto. The garden can be viewed from a deep-eaved event pavilion built in the Kamakura period style.
Dozens of season events are held in the garden, including celebrations of Children’s Day (May), Tanabata (July), Obon (August), Moon viewing (September), as well as tea ceremony demonstrations and camellia, rose, iris, chrysanthemum, bonsai and ikebana shows. Visit the website or call for details.
Hamiton, Bruce Taylor. Human Nature: The Japanese Garden of Portland Oregon. Portland, Ore.: Japanese Garden Society of Oregon, 1996.
Japanese Garden Society of Oregon. The Garden Way: The Plan of the Japanese Garden Society of Oregon. Portland, Ore.: Japanese Garden Society of Oregon, 1990.
Japanese Garden Society of Oregon. The Plan for a Japanese Garden Society of Oregon. Portland, Ore.: Japanese Garden Society of Oregon, 1965.
Japanese Garden Society of Oregon. Symbolism of Lanterns in the Japanese Garden. Portland, Ore.: Japanese Garden Society of Oregon, 1997.
"Japanese Gardens Dressed in Best for Easter Sunday." The Sunday Oregonian. April 14, 1968, p 3.
Jordan, Barbara. "Hilltop Garden Shows Beauty of Japanese Landscaping." The Sunday Oregonian, March 28, 1971, D-1.
Saihoji Temple, Kyoto
Actuality is emblem here: a walled-in garden
With its hieroglyph of the heart a lake with lotuses,
And its stones and trees a figure of ascent
From painted maze and sensuous paradise
To the Pure Land of the mind, the interior garden.
All paths wind inward to this inward mirror --
Reflecting-pool of primitive solitude --
Where the mind, quiescent, meditates its shadow,
In the garden's Heart this cipher of the heart.
Some bonze cropped bald by wisdom's scythe, to glean
In Chinese glaosses on the Sakya sage
Reality's scattered kernels, planted here
A green and less laborious commentary:
Perpetual witness of the perfect stillness.
Only the moss speaks still, a living scroll;
From the lakeshore to the hillside a silver-green
Page of continuous discourse where the foot moves
More soundlessly that thought along the paths laid
Over ten centuries ago
For the saints rehearsing sutras.
Their path unfolding in a single text,
They moved on an obscure way more quietly
Than the arhat's mantras or the lohan's prayer;
And bruised no stone, no grasses in their passing,
The ground of their desire inviolate.
Nameless, they merged into indifferent turf,
Engrossed in one impartite grace of green,
Their separate deaths lost in this single life --
Men without memory, without distinction.
Though earth assumes them like a scroll rolled up,
The path is fragrant still because they passed here.