PORTLAND, Ore. – January 10, 2023 – The arrival of spring in Portland Japanese Garden is accompanied by the steady bloom of cherry blossoms. The delicate and ephemeral beauty of these cherished flowers glow in joyful pinks and whites. What better place to come embrace the start of a new season then at Portland Japanese Garden? The seasonal blooms, as lovely as they are fleeting, remind us to pause our busy lives and be present in the moment.
Portland Japanese Garden, considered the most beautiful and authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan itself, was founded 60 years ago in 1963 when Portland civic leaders transformed the abandoned grounds of a pre-modern zoo into an urban oasis that helped reform ties between Portland and Japan as well as provide Portlanders and visitors to the area a place to experience inner peace. Among the first new plant life dug into the Garden’s soil were cherry trees. Sakura, cherry blossoms, are deeply symbolic flowers of Japan and quickly became a cherished quality of Portland Japanese Garden.
- Due to Portland Japanese Garden’s elevation and placement within the forested environs of Washington Park, our cherry blossoms often bloom at times different than other parts of the city, such as Tom McCall Waterfront Park. While every year is different, our cherry blossoms typically reveal themselves in mid-to-late March and early April.
- In the 1960s, Portland Japanese Garden’s original designer, Professor Takuma Tono of the Tokyo University of Agriculture, determined only one weeping cherry tree could be planted in our landscape because of its dramatic blooms.
- This weeping cherry still resides in our Flat Garden to this day. Now approximately 80 years old and 15 feet in height, it was transplanted from a Portland community member’s lawn when it faced demolition during the city’s expansion of streets and highways.
- In addition to the weeping cherry, there are Yoshino cherry trees in our Strolling Pond Garden as well as one that graces the western view outside the windows of the Kengo Kuma-designed Umami Café, a place where Garden visitors can enjoy handcrafted wagashi and world-class Japanese green teas.
Visitors to Portland Japanese Garden will also have the opportunity to experience a multitude of Japanese cultural events, including Subtle Intimacy: Here and There, an art exhibition by Japan Institute’s first Artist-in-Residence, Rui Sasaki. This exhibition, which transforms plant life from both the Garden and Sasaki’s native Kanazawa into ephemeral and fossil-like glass art, will join a multitude of other experiences including tea ceremony demonstrations, koto music, and more.
Hours and Admission:
- Current Hours: 10:00am-3:30pm | Wednesday – Monday, closed Tuesdays
- Adult admission: $19.95
- Tickets can be purchased at tickets.japanesegarden.org
- More information on spring at Portland Japanese Garden can be found here
Images can be found in this Dropbox folder. Photographer name is in the file name. Please stylize the credit as “Courtesy of Portland Japanese Garden, photo by [fill in name].”
Will Lerner | Communications Specialist | (503) 542-9351 | [email protected]
Portland Japanese Garden is a nonprofit organization originally founded in 1963 as a place for cross-cultural understanding following World War II. A hallmark in the City of Portland, the Garden was founded on the ideals of peace and mutual understanding between peoples and cultures. Portland Japanese Garden is considered the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan and the foremost Japanese cultural organization in North America.