Seattle Japanese Garden
The decision had been made to include a Japanese garden in the Arboretum in 1937, but it took 20 years for fundraising to begin. Kiyoshi Inoshita and Juki Iida were appointed as designers and completed their plans in 1959. Iida selected William Yorozu as prime contractor for plants, Richard Yamasaki for stone setting, and Kei Ishimitsu for structures. Construction began and was completed the next year, 1960. The garden's teahouse, donated by the city of Tokyo in 1959, was burned by vandals in 1973 and reconstructed by Yasunori "Fred" Sugita in 1980 and 1981.
During 2001 and 2002, renovation took place under the direction of Koichi Kobayashi.
At the blessing ceremony at the garden on March 2, 2008, Steve Garber, president of the Japanese Garden Advisory Council and Japanese Consul General Mitsunori Namba paid tribute to landscape designer Richard Yamasaki, a Seattle resident who died February 18, 2008. Yamasaki, born in 1921, in Medina, Washington, helped build the garden in 1959 and 1960 and remained as a consultant until 1988. In addition to his work at the Japanese garden, his clients included the Nordstrom and Boeing families, Paul Allen, and Bill Gates.
The garden closes for several months in winter. The garden is open to the public from approximately dawn to dusk, depending on the season. Admission is free for children under five; $4.00 for youth, students, senior citizens, and the disabled; and $6.00 for adults.
Public tours are offered (free with regular garden admission) April through October on Wednesdays at 12:30 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays at 12:30 p.m. and at 2:30 p.m.
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- Seattle Parks Department
- Legacy of the Japanese Garden of Seattle: Past, Present, and Future by Koichi Kobayashi (PDF)
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