.All Trips / Pacific Northwest / Washington

A fall visit to the Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden, Spokane, Washington

Fall 2008 031 Japanese Garden, Manito Park

One of the things I enjoy about blogging is sharing less commonly visited but interesting destinations.  The Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden in Spokane, Washington, certainly fits that bill.  A smaller garden, well known to locals but not to many tourists, it has its charms!  When I lived in Spokane I’d commonly stop by as it was midway between the hospital where I worked and the library I frequented.  I enjoy the calm nature and beauty of Japanese gardens.  They are places where nature, tranquility, gardening skills, and art merge.

The Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Garden sits on the site of the old zoo (closed in the 1930s).  The garden was designed by Nagao Sakurai, a master garden architect (who at one time was in charge of the Imperial Palace gardens) who’s designed 166 similar gardens around the world.  The idea for it was proposed as early as 1965 and it was completed in 1974 in time for Expo’74, which the city hosted.  The garden is a symbol of friendship between Spokane and its sister city, Nishinomiya, Japan.  The Tsutakawa referred to in the garden’s name honors a local Japanese-American Spokanite who long championed this garden and the sister city relationship, Mr. Ed Tsutakawa.

The park is especially beautiful in the fall when the Japanese maple trees assume their beautiful autumn colors.  Situated in a corner of Manito Park, on the city’s South Hill, the garden is open daily from 8 a.m. to one half hour before dusk, April 1 through Nov. 1.  The garden is closed during the cold winter months.

A few more scenes of the Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden…..

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