Seattle Japanese Garden

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Seattle Japanese Garden

The Seattle Japanese Garden is a 3.5 acre (14,000 m²) Japanese garden in the Madison Park neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. The Garden is located in the Southern end of the Washington Park Arboretum on Lake Washington Boulevard East. The Garden is one of the oldest Japanese Gardens in North America, and is regarded as one of the most authentic Japanese Gardens in the United States.[1]

The Garden is open from March through November with a three-month closure over the winter. Hours vary seasonally, and should be verified before visiting.

Cultural Events[edit]

The Seattle Japanese Garden hosts several family-friendly cultural celebrations throughout the year, with the 2014 season including:
Children's Day (Kodomo no Hi) (May 26, 2014)
Tanabata (July 6, 2014)
Wondering and Wandering (August 9, 2014)
Otsukimi(Moon Viewing)(September 6, 2014)
Respect for Elders Day (Keiro no Hi) (September 15, 2014)
Maple Viewing (Momijigari) (October 12, 2014)

These special cultural events feature local performers, including calligraphers, taiko ensembles, dance troupes, and traditional musicians. Special admission costs may apply, and tickets may need to be purchased in advance.[2]


Beginning in 1937, plans were made to include a Japanese garden in the Arboretum, and after 20 years of fundraising the project began. Experts Kiyoshi Inoshita and Juki Iida were appointed as designers and completed their plans in 1959. Juki Iida selected William Yorozu as the prime contractor for plants, Richard Yamasaki for stone setting, and Kei Ishimitsu for Garden structures. Careful construction began and was completed the next year, 1960.

Construction and design of the Garden included bringing over 500 granite boulders from the Cascade mountains, ranging in size from 1,000 pounds to 11 tons. Wrapped in bamboo matting, the boulders traveled to Madison Valley and were arranged to compliment a variety of culturally appropriate azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, mosses and ferns.[3] The Garden featured a 'Shoseian' teahouse donated by the city of Tokyo in 1959. This original tea house was burned by vandals in 1973 and reconstructed by Yasunori "Fred" Sugita in 1980 and 1981.

The Garden has undertaken several other infrastructure improvements, including a new gatehouse and community meeting room. The Gatehouse project was completed in 2009. The new structure includes a bronze gate designed by local Seattle sculptor Gerard Tsutukawa.[4]

Read " Legacy of Japanese Garden of Seattle: Past, Present and Future " by Koichi Kobayashi at

Community Partners[edit]

The Seattle Japanese Garden is a partnership between the City of Seattle, the Associated Recreation Council (The Seattle Japanese Garden Advisory Council) and the Washington Park Arboretum.[5]

Admission and Accessbility[edit]

Admission to the Garden, for the 2014 season is: Adults (18-64) $6 Youth (6-16), Seniors (65+), & visitors with disabilities $4 Children (5 and under) Free!

Annual passes can also be purchased at the ticket booth. Special admission costs may apply for special events.

Free, informative tours are included with the cost of admission on weekends. They meet at the Gatehouse and depart at 12:30pm and 2:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Tours are provided by Arboretum Foundation, Prentice Bloedel Unit 86.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Seattle Japanese Garden: A self guided tour
  4. ^ Seattle Japanese Garden: A self guided tour
  5. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°37′45″N 122°17′47″W / 47.62915°N 122.29639°W / 47.62915; -122.29639