You’ll want to move slowly as you make your way around the five distinct areas of the Portland Japanese Garden. Often beauty is found in the small details rather than in bold statements; this garden is worth setting aside at least two hours for.
Notice the moss creeping across the stones in the Natural Garden, a symbol of the harmony between human creation and nature’s will. Observe the lines drawn by the rake in the Sand and Stone area, just like in the Zen gardens of Japan’s monasteries.
Head to the Flat Garden to see the cherry trees and azaleas in the spring, or the flame-colored maple leaves in the autumn. These bold statements of color emphasize the importance of the changing seasons in Japanese culture.
The Strolling Pond Garden is the biggest of the five areas. Look out for the stones in the shape of the Big Dipper Constellation, the 1000-year-old pagoda lantern and the handmade moon bridge. Experience a true taste of Japanese culture in the Tea Garden. Authentic Tea Ceremonies are held here every third Saturday.
Important cultural events on the Japanese calendar are marked throughout the year. There’s New Year’s celebrations, the Moon Viewing festival or the highly significant Obon ceremony, when families put on a feast in honor of their dead. Art lovers will find attractions in the year-round Art in the Garden program.
If the natural forms and serenity of the gardens leave you inspired, sign up for one of the gardening workshops. You will learn to prune, clip and plant. Take a little piece of Japan home with you from the gift shop. It sells everything from teapots to incense and books on flower arranging.
Public guided tours of the gardens last 45 minutes and are run three times a day. The price is included in your admission ticket.
The garden is open on Monday from noon to 4 p.m. and Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This casual, intimate hotel overlooks Director Park and is located in the heart of downtown Portland near concert halls, art museums, Pioneer Square shopping, restaurants, and MAX Light rail and trolley.
Located in the downtown core of both the financial and artistic core of the city, The Heathman Hotel is within a few blocks of Pioneer Courthouse Square, City Hall, and the renowned Pearl district.
This boutique hotel is in downtown's shopping and business district, 5 blocks from the Pioneer Place Mall, 8 blocks from the Portland Center for the Performing Arts, and 9 blocks from the Portland Art Museum.
Set in the entertainment and business district, this hotel is within walking distance of the shops, theaters, and offices of downtown Portland. Pioneer Courthouse Square is just a block away.
Built in 1912, this eight-story downtown hotel is two blocks from the MAX light rail line and the Willamette River. Portland Saturday Market, Tom McCall Waterfront Park, and Voodoo Doughnuts are nearby.
Located in Portland's Nob Hill district, this extended-stay hotel is within walking distance of downtown. JELD-WEN Field, home of the Portland Timbers soccer team, is also nearby.
Located in Downtown Portland, this family-friendly Portland hotel is within a 15-minute walk of The Dreamer and Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Portland State University and Pioneer Courthouse Square are also within 1 mi (2 km).
Located in Downtown Portland, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of The Dreamer, Portland State University, and Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Pioneer Courthouse Square and Oregon Museum of Science and Industry are also within 2 mi (3 km).