Garden, Leisure, Family And Kids, Nature
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The Portland Japanese Garden is actually made up of five different gardens namely; Flat Garden, Strolling Pond Garden, Tea Garden, Natural Garden and Sand and Stone Garden. Each of these gardens exhibit peace and tranquility while depicting the Japanese tradition and culture. The designers of the garden believe that the quality of stones used in the garden are the prime most element to create a well-designed garden. Hence everything that contributed in the making of this five in one garden was picked wisely. Each of these five gardens has something peculiar about them.
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I will say this is a beautiful garden, well manicured, peaceful and tranquil. My main complaint was the lack of musicians and costumed theatre, maybe some Geisha to inform and entertain guest. There was none of that, just over priced admission, tea and gift shops. A walk in one of Oregon's national parks would of been a better value, but for enthusiast and/or dilettante it may be a good one time inspection.
I had an amazing time at the Garden, even though they were completing some construction. I stumbled upon a tour and followed it from start to finish and it was interesting to hear about the history and design intentions of the garden. The garden was very clean and had very serene views. There was a charge for entry, but if you live close by consider a yearly membership. Attached are some images that really stood out to me. I strongly recommend you going with the tour group if it is your first time. They will show and teach you about the entire garden. The garden was designed by a Japanese person and has gifts from Japan like the lanterns as shown.
The garden itself is a wonderful experience. I would not suggest joining their membership program. If you ever have to get in touch with anyone there, it is nearly impossible. When you are lucky to, the person says they will tend to your request but NEVER DOES. For the past 4 months I have attempted to transfer my membership to another person. The person I spoke to even said he was making a special exception for me because I was leaving the state even though, when I started calling with my request, he NEVER said I could not. I had to call and email over 10 times for this to happen, and after taking the new recipients information and telling me he was going to send her a new card etc, NOTHING HAS HAPPENED. BBB doesn't even show them as a charity, so even that standing is questionable. Clearly this place is poorly managed and can't even tend to their members well, so don't give them your money in the first place. Not worth the hassle!
The queues can be pretty long. Entrance is $14.95. Serene gardens especially if you choose times when it's not busy. You need at least one hour to get round the gardens. It's advisable to get in time for the tours which start at 12 and at every hour till 5pm.
We just happened to visit during the Star Festival. While it was crowded, everyone was respectful, and the activities were meaningful and fun for all ages. The shuttle was helpful, as we were mobility-challenged. Parking is tough, but we lucked out. Found beauty and cuteness in the gift shop. Lovely afternoon!