Houston Japanese Garden

Designed by Tokyo landscape designer Ken Nakajima and opened in 1992, Houston’s Japanese Garden is a 5.5-acre garden located within Hermann Park. The garden is designed in a daimyo style reminiscent of those designed by feudal Japanese warlords, with an emphasis on footpaths that meander throughout a variety of landscape elements and water features.

In 1990, Japanese Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu, who was in Houston for the 16th G7 Summit, arranged for the donation of a traditional Japanese teahouse (above) as a gesture of goodwill towards the city. After first being constructed in Japan with traditional materials, it was then broken down, shipped to Houston, and finally reassembled by Japanese craftsmen without the use of a single nail!

The garden’s other structural elements, including a gazebo and a koi pond, were completed before the teahouse arrived, and during the 14-month teahouse assembly, appropriate plants were chosen and installed with both the local climate and a traditional Japanese aesthetic in mind. There are also 30 varieties of grasses and 121 varieties of shrubs in the garden, as well as a variety of trees which have been cultivated, including Japanese Maples, redbuds, dogwoods, peach trees, brazilwoods, and cherry trees. A stone lantern at the gateway serves to symbolically light one’s way as one enters the garden.

  • Visited: Dec 2016

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