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You don’t need to travel across the world to experience a taste of Japanese culture, just head to Delray Beach. Home to Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens, here you’ll find serene landscapes and a zen-like ambiance in addition to unique cultural experiences you won’t find anywhere else in the Sunshine State.
One of Florida’s most culturally-rich attractions, Morikami is home to six neatly manicured gardens, an on-site museum and a Seishin-an Tea House. Spend an afternoon meandering through the colorful gardens to discover a hidden waterfall or photograph the brightly colored cherry blossoms in spring. Time your visit right to attend one of their unique festivals held throughout the year, where you can get an up close and personal look at Japanese culture.
Taking inspiration from authentic Japanese gardens, Morikami’s gardens, named Roji-en: Garden Drops of Drew, were designed to be a living exhibit of the on-site museum. Its small museum showcases beautiful Japanese artwork to help you understand the culture of Japan, with fine art and folk art from the Meiji period that dates back to 1868.
With an array of ever-changing exhibits and gardens, you’ll have a different experience each time you visit Morikami. Take a moment to reflect on your surroundings along the mile-long path of landscaped gardens, discover the origins of the Yamato Colony in the museum’s permanent collection and walk through the bonsai collection to find a koi feeding area and turtle island.
If you really want to immerse yourself in the culture, make sure to sign up for one of the unique educational experiences that they offer. Morikami offers a packed calendar full of events, from an authentic Omote-Senke style tea ceremony where you can learn the proper way to pour tea to workshops on flower arrangement and the fine art of sushi making.
Celebrating the first bud of spring, Morikami’s largest annual event is the Hatsume Fair. Come April, the tranquil park transforms into a burst of colorful sights and sounds with martial arts demonstrations, taiko drumming shows, Japanese Cosplay and fashion contests in addition to craft vendors and Japanese street food.
Another popular event at Morikami is the Lantern Festival, where you’ll find Japanese folk-dancing, drumming and an Ennichi street fair with food and games. Held in October, the real highlight of this fall event is the iconic lantern floating ceremony and firework display.
When you’ve worked up an appetite, head to the on-site Cornell Cafe for pan-Asian cuisine and seasonal specialties such as the crispy pork, sushi rolls and Mochi ice cream. Looking for a unique souvenir? Head to the Museum Store for color-drenched Kimonos and stunning Japanese jewelry.