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Waza to Kokoro Seminar 2019 (Beginner Level)

Waza to Kokoro (Hands and Heart) is the International Japanese Garden Training Center’s flagship program. It is a certificate program consisting of three intensive training seminars, combining hands-on technical learning with cultural instruction and theoretical knowledge.

An Immersive Learning Experience

Learn more about the Waza to Kokoro Training Seminar and how to apply.

Waza to Kokoro is designed to help Japanese gardens serving communities across North America to find authentic, locally-appropriate solutions in design, construction, maintenance, and preservation. Admission is also open to landscape design and construction professionals and students of landscape-related disciplines.

This seminar, offered in 2018 at the beginner and intermediate levels, focuses on stonework taught in the traditional hands-on method offered in the context of the culture of the way of tea – an immersive learning experience of not just the techniques but the cultural heart of the Japanese garden.


The seminar’s core focus is on stonework in the Japanese tea garden, taught by visiting Japanese instructors and Portland Japanese Garden staff. Admission: The seminar is designed for professionals working in Japanese gardens, but admission is also open to landscape design and construction professionals as well as students of landscape-related disciplines.

Garden Curator Sadafumi Uchiyama gives a Waza to Kokoro tour at Portland Japanese Garden / Photo by Jonathan Ley

A traditionally-grounded, hands-on learning process is supplemented with preparatory theoretical instruction, with content including:

  • History and aesthetics
  • Design
  • Garden clinic
  • Demonstration and practice with traditional Japanese tools and bamboo fence construction
  • Preparatory lectures for hands-on workshop
  • Hands-on workshop for designing, selecting materials for and building the stone elements of a tea garden
  • Pruning master class
  • Instruction in tea ceremony
  • Food culture discussions


Learn more about the Waza to Kokoro Training Seminar and how to apply.

Portland Japanese Garden’s Waza to Kokoro Seminar is sponsored by Patterson Nursery Sales and Smith Rock, and is supported by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership.