Open to the public since June 1960, Seattle Japanese Garden is one of the most highly regarded Japanese-style gardens in North America.
Tucked within a vast arboretum in a fast-growing city, the garden attracts over 85,000 visitors annually and is beloved both locally and by garden-lovers from over 30 countries around the world.
Gardens in Japan have long been regarded as an important art form that’s essential to life. This 3.5-acre garden features a style developed in the late-16th to early-17th centuries known as stroll gardens. Following a winding path around a central pond, stroll gardens invite visitors to journey through the varied landscapes of Japan – mountains, forests, waterfalls, rivers, lakes, islands and the sea. Along the journey, varied landscapes are hidden and then revealed.
Renowned landscape designer Juki Iida planned the Seattle Japanese Garden faithful to the principle of shinzensa, the essence of nature. He used both traditional Japanese plant materials and Pacific Northwest natives that have spread gracefully over time. Iida also famously travelled to the Cascades to scout for and select a large number of granite rocks to install near the waterfall. With each passing season, the elements he specified long ago combine to reveal new colors, shapes and fragrances.
The winding path and benches invite us to view the garden slowly and mindfully, in all of its detail – stones, water, lanterns, bridges, buildings, plants and animals. Change is often subtle, yet constant, and every visit refreshingly unique.