Seattle Japanese Garden
The Seattle Japanese Garden is a 3.5 acre (14,000 m²) Japanese garden in the Madison Park neighborhood of Seattle. 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.
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.
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 complement a variety of culturally appropriate azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, mosses and ferns. The Garden featured a 'Shoseian' teahouse donated by the city of Tokyo in 1959. This original tea house was burned by vandals on April 9, 1973 and reconstructed by Yasunori "Fred" Sugita in 1980 and 1981. It took 8 years of fundraising by the Arboretum Foundation until the teahouse was ready to be rebuilt.
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.
Free guided tours are included with the cost of admission. They meet at the gatehouse at 12:30pm weekdays and 2:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
The Seattle Japanese Garden hosts several family-friendly cultural celebrations throughout the year, including:
- Kodomo no Hi (Children's Day)
- Wondering and Wandering
- Otsukimi (Moon Viewing)
- Keiro no Hi (Respect for Elders Day)
- Momijigari (Maple Viewing)
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.
- "North America's Top 25 Japanese Gardens". Sukiya Living. 2004. Retrieved 2015-04-29.
- "Seattle Japanese Garden: A Self-Guided Tour" (PDF). SeattleJapaneseGarden.org. Seattle Parks and Recreation. Retrieved 2015-04-29.
- "Location & Hours". SeattleJapaneseGarden.org. Seattle Japanese Garden. Retrieved 2015-04-29.
- "Events at the Garden". SeattleJapaneseGarden.org. Seattle Japanese Garden. Retrieved 2015-04-29.
- "Support the Seattle Japanese Garden". SeattleJapaneseGarden.org. Seattle Japanese Garden. Retrieved 2015-04-29.
- Kobayashi, Koichi. "Legacy of Japanese Garden of Seattle: Past, Present and Future" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-04-29.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Japanese garden, Seattle.|
- Official website
- Japanese Garden at Seattle Parks and Recreation
- Seattle Japanese Garden at JGarden.org