Spring Awakening

Garden travel can change the way you look at your own spaces for the rest of the year, which is why now is the best time to devote a full calendar day to visiting the Portland Japanese Garden.

A serene and ever-changing reflection of the seasons and beauty of the Pacific Northwest for over half a century, the garden’s $33.5 million Cultural Village, completed in 2017 and designed by world-renowned architect Kengo Kuma, elevates the destination into a fully transformative cultural experience — one that might change how you view your life, if not just your own backyard.
The expanded, 12-acre site is laid out in eight separate public gardens, including three new gardens designed to coax visitors with moments of beauty and visual delight into the complex’s main areas: an entry garden with cascading ponds and a terraced stone pathway; a courtyard garden providing pops of green and organic motifs in the site’s new Cultural Village; and the Ellie M. Hill Bonsai Terrace, where local bonsai artists exhibit a rotating collection of species and styles of the small trees. 

After experiencing the gardens, warm up with a pot of matcha in the serene, glass-boxed Umami Café; take a workshop at the Garden House; pick up some Japanese incense at the Garden Gift Shop; or experience the refined simplicity of the spring 2018 exhibition, “Hanakago: The Art of Bamboo and Flowers” (February 3-April 1, 2018).