Roji-en Japanese Gardens

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Coordinates: 26°25′39″N 80°08′51″W / 26.42751°N 80.147385°W / 26.42751; -80.147385

The Roji-en: Garden of the Drops of Dew, The George D. and Harriet W. Cornell Japanese Gardens consists of six gardens representing different periods in the development of the Japanese garden. It occupies 16 acres (6.5 hectares) of the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Morikami Park in suburban Delray Beach, Florida, USA. The gardens are open to the public, but closed Mondays and major holidays. Access to the gardens is included in the admission fee to the museum.

Today's gardens form one of the largest Japanese gardens in the world. They were designed by Hoichi Kurisu and constructed between 1999 and 2001 in Morikami Park, a 200 acre (80 hectare) site donated by George Morikami to Palm Beach County and Florida in 1973. The Roji-en gardens are part of the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, reported to be the only museum in the United States dedicated to the living culture of Japan.[1]

A survey conducted in 2004 by the Journal of Japanese Gardening ranked the Morikami gardens as the eighth highest-quality public Japanese garden in North America.[2]

The six gardens[edit]

A mile-long path leads through six different Japanese gardens, representing six periods of Japanese garden design between the eighth and 20th centuries. The grounds feature pine trees, bamboo groves, waterfalls and large granite boulders.

A late rock garden at Roji-en, February 2005
  • Shinden Gardens - Heian period (9th - 12th centuries); aristocratic gardens patterned after Chinese gardens, featuring ponds and islands.
  • Paradise Gardens - (13th and 14th century); influenced by Buddhist teachings, and incorporating hills, ponds and islands. Similar to the Shinden Gardens but on a smaller scale.
  • Early Rock Gardens - abstracted vegetation and water, with rock arrangements to represent waterfalls and streambeds.
  • Late Rock Gardens - (15th century) karesansui gardens almost entirely constructed of gravel, stone and sand.
  • Flat Gardens - (16th and 17th century) shakkei, or borrowed landscape.
  • Modern Romantic Gardens - (Edo period and later) stroll gardens influenced by Western European gardens.[3]

Today's gardens were built in two phases. Phase One (completed in 1999) built the Yamato-kan pavilion, an historic stone lantern, a tsukubai (water basin), bonsai display, Allen S. Austin Memorial Waterfall (designed by Carn Reid), a kame shima (turtle island), a Challenger Memorial Lantern, Yamato Island, the Morikami Falls, the Wisdom Ring, a dry creek garden and part of the seven acre (2.8 hectare) lake. The ishidoro lantern was originally erected in 1681 at Toshogu Shrine in Edo as a memorial to Ietsuna, the fourth Tokugawa shogun. The Wisdom Ring is a replica of a stone lantern (ishidoro) located in Delray Beach's sister city in Japan, Miyazu. Phase Two (completed 2001) opened the six gardens.


  1. ^ The Morikami Japanese Museum and Gardens: Gardens: Overview - retrieved July 16, 2006
  2. ^ North America's Top 25 Japanese Gardens
  3. ^ Gardens of the Morikami

See also[edit]