Serenity Now

Real Serenity. There aren’t a lot of places we go that are truly tranquil and serene. But the Portland Japanese Gardens are the most beautiful, tranquil setting in the city, and might be the most beautiful man-made park we’ve visited.

We paid $9.50 per person admission and quickly made our way into the 5 ½ acre grounds.

As we started our walk, we saw a path of rocks that led to a serene pond, then onto a babbling waterfall with benches to watch the waters flow peacefully over the ledge. We strolled through streams and waterfalls, and while the flowers weren’t in bloom, there were plenty of moss and budding trees to keep your attention as you walked through the amazing landscape. There are also two meticulously groomed sand gardens featuring traditional Zen designs that elicit feelings of a pond or lake. I still haven’t figured out how it is done without leaving footprints – maybe it’s a simple as a very long rake.

The gardens offer plenty of spaces to reflect and just appreciate its splendor. Water, stone and plants in five separate but perfectly flowing spaces create a magical hideaway to read, mediate, talk or think.

Even on a cold and rainy day, the park made you want to linger. It’s hard to say that about anyplace else. If you find yourself in Portland, take an afternoon to explore it yourself. For more information.