What Is It? One of the most beautiful and authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan itself, the Portland Japanese Garden is a 5.5-acre oasis. It features five separate garden styles, including the Tea Garden, Strolling Pond Garden, Flat Garden, Natural Garden, and the Sand and Stone Garden with pagodas, bridges, meandering streams, and an authentic Japanese tea house.
Why Do It? There may be no better place to go on a warm summer day in Portland. Enjoy a cool and tranquil respite while escaping the chaos of the city and becoming more present at the moment. This summer there are some exciting happenings too. From July 1 through September 4, Behind the Shoji (the annual summer marketplace) brings the chance to shop for Japanese and Japanese-inspired items that can be difficult to find without traveling to Japan itself, all with a view of Mt. Hood on one side and the Flat Garden on the other. Tanabata, The Star Festival, takes place on July 2, celebrated with storytelling, taiko performances, and the tradition of hanging tanzaku, or wish strips, to bamboo.
Good to Know: The buds of the Japanese iris open in late June, revealing flowers nearly six inches across in shades of purple and white. Find them in the Lower Pond by Heavenly Falls in the Strolling Pond Garden.