Monday Adventure- Portland Japanese Garden

Yes, it’s another garden adventure. You may be well and truly tired of them but the beautiful flowers, trees, and shrubs are the hard won results of all the blasted rain we live through for 8 months of the year so you’ll have to suffer a bit longer.

I, for one, still revel in the greenity (it’s a word now) after a decade of living in the rocky, arid, brown that is Utah.

The Portland Japanese Garden was created through collaboration with Japan and designed by a Japanese professor, Takuma Tono. There are 5 gardens set on 5.5 acres and they’ve been open to the public since 1967. Unlike the Lan Su Chinese Garden the focus here is solely on nature with little or no architectural enhancement; the exception being an authentic Japanese teahouse.

I had a perfectly sunny day in the gardens which, while it is always appreciated in Portland, actually makes outdoor photography more difficult- unless you’re at a level using filters, shades etc (which I am not). I got a couple of unusual shots of sunshine on water but overall the colors are a bit more bleached out than I would prefer. Still, it is a gorgeous, contemplative space where you can walk or sit in complete solitude. A highly recommended moving meditation.

I loved the play of sunshine on water here. The rocks w/ moss almost look fake.

Not surprisingly the Japanese maples are all beautifully shaped.

A sculptural tree

The waterfall and pond are in a heavily shaded grove providing a cool respite.

As in seen in the Lan Su Garden even the stones chosen for paths are carefully laid out in beautiful patterns that draw the eye

I admit it (in case you haven't noticed yet) I'm a sucker for pink!

The garden is currently hosting an exhibit/sale of miniature Bonsais from Japan. This flowering tree would fit in the palm of my hand!


  1. Beautiful pictures. I love how green Portland is.

  2. Gorgeous photos! I'm relaxed just looking at them. My students and I did a bit of research on Japanese gardens this year, as an into-activity for the novel The Samurai's Garden by Gail Tsukiyama. I learned so much - including just how much I'm craving a spot of earth to do my own gardening. Looks like you had an enchanting day!

  3. Thanks for allowing me to be an armchair traveler.

    My eyes have been thirsting for green.

  4. I revel in greenery as well. When I'm not rolling around in my backyard listeing to the fountain or the birds (or the crazy neighbor lady hacking into her shrubs,) I like to go to the local botanical gardens-Frederick Meijer Gardens. I'm a member and it's my happy place, one spot I can go and actually spend hours without getting bored.

    Love your pictures. Bring on the greenery!


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