Seattle Parks and Recreation is pleased to announce the opening of the Seattle Japanese Garden for its 50th Anniversary Season.
The garden reopens on Sunday, February 14, 2010 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with public tours at noon and 2 p.m. and a Shinto/Buddhist Opening Blessing at 1 p.m. The garden will be graced with bonsai provided by the Puget Sound Bonsai Association and ikebana from the local chapter of Ikebana International that will be on display all day.
During this 50th Anniversary Season for the Japanese Garden, there will be special events throughout the year.
The Japanese Garden holds a special place in Seattle’s heart that goes back to 1909, when the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition exposed Seattle to a range of Pacific Rim cultures and created the desire to see an authentic Japanese Garden right here in the Northwest.
In 1957, a large donation from an anonymous donor funded a design by landscape designers from the Tokyo Metropolitan Park Department, who donated the design to the City of Seattle. In 1960, world-famous Japanese Garden designer and builder Juki Iida was chosen to oversee the Seattle project. He personally selected more than 500 boulders, ranging in weight from 1,000 pounds to 11 tons, from the nearby Cascade Mountains for placement in the park.
The garden is three and a half acres of artfully placed trees, shrubs, flowers, moss, stones, lanterns, streams, ponds, paths and bridges that create a harmonious balance of Northwest and Japanese plants and Japanese garden design.
The original teahouse was a gift from the people of Tokyo and was hand-built by the Shimizu Company in Japan and reassembled on site in 1959. After a 1973 fire destroyed the teahouse, it was rebuilt in 1981 with help from the Arboretum Foundation and the Urasenke Foundation of Kyoto. At the teahouse there are frequent chado (way of tea) demonstrations.
For more information, please see http://www.seattle.gov/parks/parkspaces/japanesegarden.htm.