Monday, June 8, 2015

Japanese Garden at the International Peace Gardens

Under the red torii gate
We've visited Japanese Gardens in Denver, Portland, and San Francisco, but I was hoping we could find some kind of Japanese garden around here to visit during our unit. I came across some Yelp reviews for the International Peace Gardens, which included a Japanese garden, so I looked up their website and found it here. Based on the reviews, I wasn't expecting anything too great. People said the gardens were pretty, but kind of neglected. Still, I thought they would be worth a visit.

When we got there we were pleasantly surprised! Yes, there are a few aspects of the gardens that haven't been kept up: some of the ponds are empty, and not all the beds are as well-tended as they might have been when this place was new. But it was so lovely, in spite of that! The Japanese garden was one of our favorite sections, but there are gardens from countries all over the world. The children loved running around and exploring them all! It's a great place to come on a nice Spring day. We would love to go back again, maybe with a picnic this time. We were so glad we found out about this place!
Japanese flag above the Japanese garden
It has all the elements of a traditional Japanese garden. Graceful arched bridges (painted the lucky color red)—
Stone lanterns (this one would have been on a little island in the pond, if there had been water in the pond). Daisy found this little branch and was holding it up all day and calling it her little "bonsai," in case you're wondering what she's got there.
Nicely-shaped trees. And this looked like it might once have been a little waterfall. It would be so fun to see this place with all the water features!
Another stone lantern
Abe and Goldie on the bridge
Another small red bridge, by a clump of pretty Japanese iris
And Junie found this lovely Juniper tree.

Each garden section in this park is fairly small, but the whole park covers quite a big area. Then there is an even bigger park, with playground equipment and skateboarding ramps, etc., surrounding the International Peace Gardens. It was so nice to walk around and see everything. I'll show pictures from the rest of the garden, even though they aren't really related to this Japan Unit, just because everything was so beautiful.
Switzerland's garden. Don't you love the Materhorn there?
There was a cute miniature Swiss chalet below the mountain.
This was Mexico, I think. The girls thought this big head was hilarious, for some reason.
The Chinese Garden had a couple nice pagodas, and some cool stone lion statues.
There was water in this pool!
The French garden
Greece's garden
I love this covered arbor walkway! I assume it was for Denmark, because at the end of the walkway was…
The Little Mermaid, just like the one in Copenhagen Harbor!
Daisy and Junie liked her. We wished she had some water to sit in!
The children were playing all sorts of games up by this Stonehenge-y sort of rock installation. I think they were pretending to be trains?
The International Peace Garden is a beautiful place to visit. We recommend it!

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