Japanese Garden

"Garden of pure, clear harmony and peace"

Dedicated in 1977, our 14-acre Japanese Garden, one of the largest in North America, represents an evolution of centuries of tradition and a multiplicity of distinctly Japanese cultural influences.

Incorporating carefully designed plantings, waterfalls, beaches and islands, the Japanese Garden invites visitors to experience the thrill of personal interpretation and discovery in a serene landscape that's uniquely beautiful in every season.

The Garden in Bloom


Learn more about the many plant collections on display throughout the Japanese Garden.

Flowering Cherries
Azaleas & Rhododendrons

Preserving the Garden

Zigzag bridge under construction

As part of the Garden's commitment to celebrate and protect its history, the Japanese Garden underwent the first of several repair and maintenance phases over the winter of 2014 to restore bridges and water systems.

View photos of the enhancements

The Story of Seiwa-en

Stone lantern in the Japanese Garden

Explore the history, symbolism and cultural significance behind the design of the Japanese Garden.

Traditional Bridges

The garden design also incorporates the use of traditional Japanese bridges, intended not solely as a means of crossing from island to shore, but to provide points where garden visitors can enjoy viewing the water, the reflections of sunlight on foliage and the fish swimming below.

Japanese Garden

The first of these is the Drum Bridge, or Taikobashi, which connects Teahouse Island with the northwest mainland. Its name alludes to its round shape, which completes a circle in its own reflection in the water. It is constructed of redwood and is left unpainted to preserve its natural appearance. Bronze caps topping the four posts at each end of the Drum Bridge are called giboshi.

Also leading from Teahouse Island, but crossing to the south shore, is the Earthen Bridge or Dobashi, with a base construction of a row of logs over a timber framework. The outer edges of the bridge are lined with lily turf. Also part of the southwest lakeshore is a unique zig-zag bridge called Yatsuhashi, a name meaning “eight bridges” and referring to a place in Mikiwa Province, Japan, where in the 10th century a single river branched into eight channels. Each channel was crossed by a bridge around which grew masses of irises. This ideal is emulated in Seiwa-en by soil-filled iris planters placed on both sides of the bridge.

Explore a 360-degree view of the Japanese Garden! 
Adobe Flash Player 10 or newer required.

Support the Japanese Garden

Donate Now buton

Help us celebrate the 40th anniversary of our largest and most beloved garden—Seiwa-en, the Japanese Garden. Make a special gift to honor the Japanese Garden today!

Japanese drummers perform at Japanese Festival

Japanese Festival
Labor Day Weekend
Celebrate the history, culture and people of Japan with three days of art, dance, food and entertainment at one of the largest and oldest festivals of its kind in the United States.

Learn more