30 beautiful Japanese gardens in the US that will bring Zen to your day

30 beautiful Japanese gardens in the US that will bring Zen to your day
via Walking Tours, Destination UpClose, Travel Towner, California State University, Long Beach, Portland Japanese Garden
Ryan General
May 11, 2023
There’s something about Japanese gardens that offer a peaceful escape from life’s daily hustle and bustle.
Often associated with Zen Buddhism, these gardens are designed to help people achieve a state of mindfulness and meditation.
They are also known for their long and rich history that goes back to the 7th century CE and refined throughout the Edo period (1603-1868). Japanese gardens were introduced in the U.S. in 1893 during a world exposition in Chicago. Since then, Japanese gardens have been built all over the country.
In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, visit any of these 30 Japanese gardens in the US to immerse yourself in their tranquil beauty and learn more about Japanese culture and design.

Portland Japanese Garden – Portland, Oregon

With over 12 acres of lush greenery and authentic Japanese architecture, the Portland Japanese Garden is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves the traditional Japanese aesthetic. It features a beautiful teahouse that is over 100 years old.

Japanese Garden at the Huntington – San Marino, California

Located within the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens, this Japanese garden features a breathtaking view of the San Gabriel Mountains.
via The Huntington

Shofuso Japanese House and Garden – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

This garden, located in Fairmount Park, is home to a traditional Japanese house that was originally built in 1953 for an exhibit in New York City. 
via Angel’s Video Diary

RoHoEn – Phoenix, Arizona

Also known as the Japanese Friendship Garden, this garden features a beautiful pond, traditional Japanese bridges and a stunning tea house. 

Japanese Tea Garden – San Francisco, California

This historic garden, located in Golden Gate Park, is the oldest public Japanese garden in the United States. It was originally created as part of the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition.
via Destination UpClose

Seattle Japanese Garden – Seattle, Washington

This garden is a true oasis within Seattle. With a beautiful waterfall, authentic Japanese bridges and a traditional tea house, you’ll feel transported to a completely different world when you step inside.

Japanese Friendship Garden San Diego – San Diego, California

This traditional Japanese garden was designed to be a center to educate, engage and inspire people of diverse backgrounds about Japanese culture. The garden achieves this mission by offering a variety of educational programs, exhibits and cultural festivals.

Chicago Botanic Garden – Glencoe, Illinois

This must-visit spot in Chicago features a traditional teahouse, a beautiful koi pond and a tranquil waterfall. 
via Chicago Botanic Garden

Anderson Japanese Gardens – Rockford, Illinois

The Anderson Japanese Gardens is located on a sprawling 12-acre estate and features winding streams, gorgeous waterfalls and perfectly manicured landscaping. 
via Ted Martin

Shofu-En Japanese Garden – Denver, Colorado

This garden within Denver Botanic Gardens features Colorado plants landscaped by Koichi Kawana in the classic Japanese style. During the summer months, the garden holds traditional Japanese tea ceremonies.

Descanso Gardens – La Canada Flintridge, California

This garden, located just outside of Los Angeles, features a traditional Japanese tea house, a koi pond and a beautiful bonsai collection. 
via Joel B. Kwon

Missouri Botanical Garden – St. Louis, Missouri

This Japanese garden, features a traditional teahouse, a serene lake and stunning cherry blossom trees. It’s a must-visit spot in the heart of the Midwest.
via Fantabulous Travels

Charlotte Partridge Ordway Japanese Garden – St. Paul, Minnesota

This Japanese garden was created by renowned Nagasaki landscape designer Masami Matsuda using plants and trees native to Minnesota.

Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden – Brooklyn, New York

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden‘s Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden is one of the oldest and most famous Japanese gardens in the United States. Make sure to check out the various programs about Japanese culture that this garden hosts. 
via NYC Wayfare

Kubota Garden – Seattle, Washington

This garden, located in South Seattle, was created by a Japanese immigrant in the 1920s and features stunning waterfalls, stone pathways and traditional Japanese bridges.
via Walking Tours

Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens – Delray Beach, Florida

This location features six different gardens, each with its own unique theme. Be sure to check out the tranquil Roji-en Garden, which is designed to evoke the feeling of being in a rural Japanese village.

Fort Worth Botanic Garden – Fort Worth, Texas

The Fort Worth Botanic Garden is a stunning spot that features traditional architecture, a beautiful koi pond and cherry blossom trees.
via HIJRisings

Gibbs Gardens – Ball Ground, Georgia

This garden, located just outside of Atlanta, is one of the largest residential estate gardens in the country.
via Scrogg McGoose

Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden – Long Beach, California

A Japanese garden covering 1.3 acres inside the California State University campus. Before designing the garden, landscape master plan architect Ed Lovell traveled to Japan and took inspiration from the Imperial Gardens in Tokyo.

Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden – Springfield, Missouri

Built in 1980, this 7.5-acre garden is the oldest attraction at the Springfield Botanical Gardens.
via Travel Towner

Blevins Japanese Garden – Nashville, Tennessee

This garden, located on the 55-acre Cheekwood Estate and Gardens, was created by David Harris Engel in 1977 and was named “Shōmu-en,” which translates to “pine-mist forest.”
via Volunteer Gardener

James Irvine Japanese Garden – Los Angeles, California

Built in 1980 for the centennial celebration of the Japanese American community, the garden was given the National Landscape Award from the American Association of Nurserymen, the highest award in the nation for environmental improvement and community beautification.

Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden – Pasadena, California

Built in over seven years starting in 1935, the garden became a landmark for the Japanese community in Pasadena until it burned down in 1981. It was later rebuilt to the original plans and restored by renowned expert Takeo Uesugi.
via Cuong Bui

Kyoto Gardens – Los Angeles, California

 A replica of an ancient Japanese garden built for Samurai Lord Kiyomasa Kato in Tokyo, this unique garden is situated on the rooftop of the luxurious DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel.
via Wandering Jean

Shiojiri Niwa – Mishawaka, Indiana

Designed by Shoji Kanaoka, the garden was a gift from the Japanese city of Shiojiri (Nagano Prefecture) to its sister city of Mishawaka, Indiana. In addition to a grove of cherry trees, the site has two snow lanterns, four bridges and a teahouse pavilion.

Japanese Garden at the Kepaniwai Park – Maui, Hawaii

The Japanese garden situated in the park is decorated with different monuments that signify milestones in the Japanese community’s immigration to Hawaii.
via RaysCrazyWays

Yuko-En on the Elkhorn – Georgetown, Kentucky

This Japanese garden was built as a project between Georgetown and Tahara, its sister city in Japan. It was filled with plants and trees native to Japan and Kentucky.
via Freeman Kelly Dronography

Mytoi Japanese Garden – Edgartown, Massachusetts

A small Japanese garden inside an open pine forest on Chappaquiddick Island within a property owned by the Trustees of Reservations.

Japanese Cultural Center Tea House & Gardens – Saginaw, Michigan

 The garden, which opened in 1971, features a tea house constructed by Saginaw City in collaboration with its sister city Tokushima in 1986.
via Japanese Cultural Center Saginaw

Boukakuan Japanese Tea House and Garden – Columbus, New Jersey

The owner of the garden not only serves as a guide for visitors, but he also conducts a Japanese tea ceremony which includes a demonstration and instruction on the traditional tea ceremony and other activities.
via Adam Monacelli
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