A Circle of Perfection at the Portland Japanese Garden

As visitors slowly rotate 360° in a circle they are immersed in a garden with pockets large and small of how the world should be – ideal perfection. The Portland Japanese Garden, for good reason, has been recognized as a top Japanese Garden.



His Excellency Nobuo Matsunaga, former ambassador of Japan to the United States, proclaimed the garden as “the most beautiful and authentic Japanese garden in the World outside of Japan.”


There is much to see in this gorgeous garden. The 5.5 acre formal garden is comprised of five gardens in one – a Flat Garden, Strolling Garden, Tea Garden, Natural Garden and the Sand and Stone Garden. There are waterfalls, Koi, a teahouse, stone lanterns and bridges. Wandering between the ponds and waterfalls is delightful; there is even a Zig Zag bridge that provides a close-up view of the Koi.


Tom Graham, a former Board Member of the San Diego Japanese Friendship Garden, said, “…never have I experienced a garden such as this one.” Mr. Graham was instrumental in the addition of the popular Koi pond in San Diego and enjoyed seeing the beautiful Koi in this garden.


It takes a team of 7 full time gardeners and over 5,000 volunteer hours to maintain the idealized presence of the garden. They do ask that no food or drinks except water is brought into the garden to help them maintain its pristine beauty.


The garden is in the middle of a 33.5 million dollar “Cultural Crossing” expansion project; its first expansion since the garden opened in 1967. The expansion is an addition and does not affect the original garden. The garden is open daily and a visit is in order when visiting Portland.


Completion of the new addition is expected by Spring 2017. There will be a new garden entrance way, an 18´ high medieval Japanese castle wall built by an authentic 15th generation Kyoto mason, a bonsai terrace, a tea café and more.


The garden is open year around and can be enjoyed many times with the seasonal changes. Click here to check hours and admission pricing. They also offer a variety of events and art exhibits. As exhibits and events change with the seasons, check their website here to see the schedule for current and special events.


Visit the Japanese garden and be surrounded by elements of stone, plants and water that convey the feelings of peace, harmony and tranquility. Everywhere the eye ventures, the garden presents cameos, interpretation of nature in a perfect and timeless state-one after another, nestled beside each other and within one another. This is the mission of the Japanese garden, and the Portland Japanese Garden is one of the world’s best.

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