Back in college, I had the opportunity to take Japanese for a semester. I remember starting the class overwhelmed and a few months later, was able to take a final exam in katakana. My Japanese language skills have since evaporated from non-use, but I still very much enjoy anything to do with the culture.
Portland has a Japanese Garden and when Nobuo Matsunago, the former Ambassador of Japan to the US visited, he proclaimed it to be “the most beautiful and authentic Japanese garden in the world outside of Japan”. Since I haven’t made it to Japan (yet! Soooo on my list!), I can’t testify to that statement, however we enjoyed this garden very much.
Upon entering a Japanese garden, the hope is to realize a sense of peace, harmony and tranquility. Unfortunately, the real world kept creeping in with the sounds of cars zooming around the 5 acres of gardens. That small quibble aside, Keith and I spent a glorious fall day wandering through the paths and appreciating the workmanship and care in creating such a garden.
Some of the highlights included the beautiful zig zag bridge, the stone pagoda lantern and the authentic moon bridge. We also enjoyed seeing the large, brightly colored Koi and even managed to catch one during lily pad feeding time.
This park is meant to be enjoyed through all 4 seasons and I can see how the landscape would change and reflect during each cycle. While we didn’t have the bright spring colors, we did enjoy a hint of fall and glad we had an opportunity to squeeze in a visit.