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.


Japanese Garden lanternThroughout the garden are lanterns of historic significance, including snow-viewing lanterns or yukimi doro, best appreciated when snow is piled upon their umbrella-like roofs and the light from its firebox flickers on the surrounding landscape. The one that stands at the entrance to the garden is preserved from the 1904 World’s Fair. Another snow-viewing lantern occupying lakeside prominence on Teahouse Island is a gift from Suwa City, Japan, the sister city of St. Louis.

Arching over the water is the Rankei lantern, a unique 19th-century style. This lantern is placed so that its image is reflected in the water. Other traditional lanterns are the Kasuga and Oribe lanterns. The latter was designed by an outstanding Christian teamaster, Furuta Oribe. Kasuga lanterns are named after Kasuga Temple near Nara. Kasuga Temple is famous for its deer park; thus, the reason for the deer carved on its firebox. Introduced during the 14th century, lanterns and other stone accessories are important components of Japanese tea gardens.

Explore a 360-degree view of the Japanese Garden! 
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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