Portland Japanese Garden

One of the most celebrated gardens in Portland is the Japanese Garden. I visited it last year when I was there in June. On this trip, I went twice. I was anxious to see it with the fall color display but was disappointed on the first visit. There was virtually no color but we overheard an employee tell someone to come back in a week or so. So, I returned just a few days before we departed Portland and the vibrant hues that I was hoping to see had indeed arrived.

At 5.5 acres, the Japanese Gardens seem small and intimate for a public garden. Located on a hillside overlooking the city of Portland and surrounded by comfortable suburban neighborhoods and Washington Park, it is a serene oasis - once you enter the gates, the hustle and bustle of nearby city life is hushed. 

It was heavily overcast on the October days we visited so we missed the lovely city view of Portland with Mount Hood in the background. The gardens, however, were spectacular.

The Rose Garden, located just across the street, was not looking so great after the recent rains but the Japanese Garden is beautiful any time of year and is even a wonderful garden to visit in the rain.   


Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. My only visit there was in the early summer but it looks as though the garden is just as beautiful in the fall. Those Japanese maples are stunning! Also, the place just always seems so immaculate.

  2. I love those colors. It is good that you waited for the right moment to capture them.

  3. A gorgeous garden and especially spectacular with the fall foliage colors! I must visit in October one of these years!

  4. The color and the forms of those Japanese maples is amazing!

  5. I saw this garden on two blazing hot and sunny days last summer, just before and during Portland Fling. It was lovely then, but this is spectacular. I would love to see it in full fall color one day. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous images!

  6. I am glad you went back, just for a chance to see these photos.


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