Visitor FAQs

Planning a Visit

The warm light of the lantern casts a glow in the Garden. / Photo by Nina Johnson

When is the best time of year to visit?
Any time of year is a good time to visit the Portland Japanese Garden. Japanese gardens are created with imagination and designed to display nature’s beauty in all seasons. Spring is the time for fresh greenery and subtle blossoms. Cherry blossoms appear briefly in late February, while late spring flowers include azalea, camellia, and wisteria. Summer’s sunlit shades of green yield an unbroken, calming visual experience. The vibrant colors of fall make autumn a popular visiting time. Autumn is a celebration of nature’s gift of life in the past year, and a transition to the peacefulness of winter.

How much time should I allow to visit the Garden?
Depending on your pace, it usually takes most visitors one and half to two hours to tour the Portland Japanese Garden. The Garden is also a place to linger, reflect, and meditate, so we encourage you to take your time and enjoy.

Are pets allowed in the Garden?
No pets are allowed, only ADA (or trained) Service Animals are permitted inside the Garden.

Is the Garden wheelchair/stroller accessible?
According to ADA standards, the whole of the Portland Japanese Garden is not legally accessible. However, the new Cultural Village, the upper Flat Garden, and the Pavilion is legally accessible by ADA standards. A free shuttle bus from the parking lot to our Admission Gate operates during regular Garden hours.

Strollers can be folded up and taken up to the Garden on the shuttle. When you visit, please ask a staff member about where strollers can be stored in the Garden.

May I rent the Garden for a wedding, commitment ceremony or reception at the Garden?
To protect the Garden’s tranquility, authenticity, and environment, we do not allow public rentals for events, weddings, commitment ceremonies, or receptions. We refer those interested in a garden setting to the Lan Su Chinese Garden. Corporate Members interested in hosting events in the Garden should contact Foundation and Corporate Relations Manager Sarah Yusavitz at [email protected] or (503) 542-0289 to discuss rental possibilities based on membership level.

Our Organization

Is the Garden run by the City of Portland?
No. The Portland Japanese Garden is a private, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that leases its land from the City of Portland. The Garden works with Explore Washington Park, Portland Parks & Recreation and the Bureau of Development Services to ensure that community needs are taken into consideration in any operating decisions. The Garden’s operating budget comes from gate admissions, retail sales, membership dues, and donations.

How many Japanese gardens are there in the United States?
There are nearly 60 public Japanese gardens in the United States. Most are connected to city park systems or botanical garden societies. By contrast, our independent, not-for-profit organization is devoted solely to the Portland Japanese Garden and operates year-round through admissions, membership dues, and donations.

Who runs the Garden?
The Portland Japanese Garden’s Board of Trustees hires a Chief Executive Officer to operate the Garden. The Chief Executive Officer is supported by department heads as well as administrative, retail, gardening, and operational staff. Currently the Garden has 83 full time employees.

The Garden

What’s in bloom now?
Bloom times vary significantly based on weather. However, the list below is a good place to start. Follow us on social media for the most up-to-date photos of what’s in bloom.

– Camellias: Winter through Spring (depending on variety)
– Dawn Viburnum: Mid- to Late-Winter
– Andromeda/Pieris: Late Winter through Early Spring

– Cherry Trees: March through Mid-April
– Azaleas: April through May
– Magnolias: April
– Rhododendrons: Late April through May
– Wisteria: Mid-May

– Iris: Late June through Early July

– Fall Color: Late October through Early November