I have been patiently waiting for fall at the Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon. Every day, I visited their Fall Color Status Update website. In mid-October, the site indicated good leaf color in their plantings. Off we went!
A brilliant rainbow of colors bordered the Flat Garden. The green Circle and Gourd Islands in the sea of white gravel represent enlightenment and happiness.
This nearby path is bordered by more subtle colors.
The Garden limits the number of visitors, but they crowded around this maple tree with its bright red leaves.
The structure of the branches on laceleaf maples is just as impressive as the color of the leaves.
There are water features throughout the garden. This simple fountain is elegant in its design.
The reflections cast by fall leaves in the ponds are stunning.
The gardens are so calm and peaceful. This photo shows a view of Heavenly Falls – a fitting name.
The Garden includes layers of varying structure and color.
Some of the yellow-colored leaves you might see are on gingko trees – a personal favorite of mine. Their fan-shaped leaves fluttered in the breeze.
Visiting the Garden
The Portland Japanese Garden is located in Washington Park, west of downtown. The 12-acre garden includes eight separate garden styles. Purchase tickets ahead online or at the entrance gate. Be aware that parking is limited. There is a short uphill path to the garden. Shuttles are available upon request. The Cultural Village includes a gift shop, café, arts learning center, and concierge.
When His Excellency Nobuo Matsunaga, the former Ambassador of Japan to the United States, visited Portland Japanese Garden, he proclaimed it to be ‘the most beautiful and authentic Japanese garden in the world outside of Japan.’Portland Japanese Garden Visitor Guide
The brochure notes they hope visitors experience “a sense of peace, tranquility, and a deep, personal connection to nature.” I certainly did!
Though you can visit throughout the year, fall at the Japanese Garden is especially beautiful. In Japan, the times of seasonal change are revered for their impermanence. I was glad to witness the transition with my own eyes.