Portland Japanese Garden
The Portland Japanese Garden, nestled into the thickly wooded hills of Oregon, recently unveiled a thoughtful and elegant expansion. The garden’s new Cultural Village–a place where visitors can immerse themselves in traditional Japanese arts through seasonal activities, performances and demonstrations–is architect Kengo Kuma‘s first public commission in the United States. Thoroughly authentic to Japanese tradition, the sensory experience begins the moment visitors arrive thanks to the scent of Port Orford cedar and the sounds of trickling water. A long winding path encourages visitors to slow down and absorb the massive old-growth Douglas-fir trees. Living green roofs provide coverage for the galleries and the garden’s new Umami Cafe, serving up carefully prepared tea with panoramic views of the surrounding forest. Custom dictates that Japanese gardens replicate nature in its idealized form, which explains why the Portland Japanese Garden is widely regarded as the most bona fide outside of Japan. Catch the upcoming exhibit “Mirrors of the Mind: The Noh Masks of Ohtsuki Kokun” on display from October 14 to December 3.