12 Serene Japanese Gardens in the Seattle Area, Big & Small

Seattle is renowned for its lush greenery and scenic landscapes, and the Seattle Japanese Gardens exemplify this breathtaking beauty. These gardens offer a tranquil escape amidst the bustling city. The meticulously designed landscapes, featuring winding paths, tranquil ponds, and traditional Japanese architecture, invite you to lose yourself in their enchanting ambiance.

Whether you’re seeking a peaceful retreat, a place to reflect, or simply a unique experience, these Japanese Botanical Gardens provide an unforgettable journey into nature’s artistry. Join us as we explore the Seattle area’s most popular Japanese gardens and hidden gems you won’t want to miss.

Kubota Garden

Kubota Garden in Seattle is a beautifully designed place that transports visitors into a serene, natural space. The landscape is an exquisite blend of Japanese design principles with the rich greenery of the Pacific Northwest.

This garden offers a range of activities for different age groups. For children aged 7-12, there’s a Pollinator Safari on July 13, 2024. It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn about and interact with insects like bees and butterflies.

The garden also hosts unique performances. On July 28, 2024, visitors can enjoy a Butoh dance performance. Dancers and musicians will be dispersed throughout the garden, responding in real-time to the surrounding environment.

Location: 9817 55th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118
Contact: (206) 725-5060
Website: Visit Website

Seattle Japanese Garden

Seattle Japanese Garden offers a serene and captivating experience. The 3.5-acre urban sanctuary boasts winding gravel paths and stone benches, encouraging visitors to indulge in the detailed beauty of rock, water, and flora.

Every season brings its unique charm to the garden. Visitors can witness the slow and enchanting transformation from spring to summer and autumn, each visit a testament to nature’s ever-changing beauty.

The garden also provides free guided tours, led by dedicated volunteer guides, sharing insights into its history and horticulture. These tours occur on Tuesdays through Fridays at 11 AM and 1 PM, as well as the first Saturday of each month at 1 PM.

Guests can further enrich their visit by participating in various educational programs and festivals. These events include Japanese gardening workshops and seasonal celebrations, offering something enjoyable for visitors of all ages.

Location: 1075 E Lk Washington Blvd, Seattle, WA 98112
Contact: (206) 684-4725
Website: Visit Website

Japanese Maples in The Arboretum

Nestled in the heart of the bustling city lies the serene J. A. Witt Winter Garden. This tranquil spot is home to a variety of Japanese Maples that captivate visitors with their vibrant colors and delicate leaves. The Arboretum provides a peaceful escape where one can admire the beauty of these Japanese Maples.

The Japanese Maples are a must-see, especially in the fall when their foliage transforms into a stunning tapestry of reds, oranges, and yellows. Whether you’re a photography enthusiast or just looking for a peaceful stroll, the sight of these trees is truly a visual delight.

Strolling through Azalea Way, you’ll find the Japanese Maples perfectly complement the surrounding flora, creating a harmonious and calming atmosphere. It’s an ideal spot for a quiet afternoon or a leisurely walk with loved ones, offering a picturesque setting that seems almost magical.

Location: J. A. Witt Winter Garden, Azalea Way, Seattle, WA 98112

Kobe Terrace Park

Kobe Terrace Park in Seattle is a vibrant gem nestled in the heart of the city. Known for its peaceful atmosphere and beautiful landscaping, it offers a unique blend of nature and urban scenery. Visitors can enjoy stunning views of downtown Seattle and the surrounding areas.

The park features meticulously maintained gardens, including a delightful Japanese-inspired garden. Stone lanterns and cherry trees create a serene environment perfect for a leisurely stroll or a moment of meditation. It’s a popular spot for locals and tourists alike who seek a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

An impressive stone Tengu sculpture greets visitors at the entrance, symbolizing the friendship between Seattle and its sister city, Kobe, Japan. This park also features a winding path lined with gorgeous cherry blossoms in the spring, making it an ideal place for seasonal visits.

Location: 650 South Main St, Seattle, WA 98104
Contact: (206) 684-4075
Website: Visit Website

Bloedel Reserve Japanese Garden

Nestled on Bainbridge Island, the Bloedel Reserve Japanese Garden offers a serene and immersive experience. This garden is meticulously designed, featuring traditional Japanese landscaping elements that emphasize harmony and natural beauty.

Visitors are greeted with a picturesque pond, graceful bridges, and well-manicured plantings that create a calming atmosphere. Each step through the garden reveals a new perspective and detail, encouraging relaxation and reflection.

One standout feature is the authentic tea house, which serves as a focal point for visitors. It provides an ideal spot to pause and appreciate the surrounding scenery, enhancing the overall garden experience.

Location: 7571 NE Dolphin Dr, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
Contact: (206) 123-4567
Website: Visit Website

Japanese Garden at Point Defiance Park

The Japanese Garden at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma dazzles with its serene atmosphere. Lush greenery and carefully manicured landscapes are a testament to Japanese gardening artistry. The soft sound of flowing water from the koi pond calms any visitor. Every twist and turn reveals a new element of beauty.

Wander the pathways lined with stone lanterns and blooming flora. Each step seems to transport you into a place of tranquility. Traditional wooden bridges arch over gentle streams, inviting contemplation and connection with nature. Seasonal changes enhance its charm, making every visit feel unique.

Volunteer guides offer insights into the garden’s plant life and design on guided tours. These tours provide fascinating historical context and horticultural facts. It enriches the experience, allowing visitors to appreciate the garden’s deeper significance and beauty.

Location: 5801 Trolley Ln, Tacoma, WA 98407
Contact: (253) 305-1078

Seike Japanese Garden

Seike Japanese Garden is a hidden gem located in SeaTac, Washington. Nestled in the east corner of the Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden, it offers a tranquil retreat from the bustle of city life. Visitors can discover a beautifully maintained space that transforms with each season, inviting return visits.

The garden showcases traditional Japanese design with meticulously curated plantings. Walking through, one can admire the charming ponds, streams, and well-placed stones that create a serene environment. The pathways wind through lush greenery, providing a meditative experience for those who stroll through.

The garden’s peaceful ambiance attracts visitors who appreciate quiet reflection amidst nature. It’s perfect for those looking to relax, enjoy a leisurely walk, or simply sit and enjoy the landscape. The community takes pride in the garden, making it a beloved part of the local area.

Location: 13735 24th Ave S, SeaTac, WA 98168
Contact: (206) 391-4003
Website: Visit Website

Japanese Tea Garden

Nestled in the heart of Seattle, the Japanese Tea Garden offers a tranquil escape from the urban hustle. Visitors are greeted by traditional Japanese landscaping, complete with meticulously pruned trees and serene water features. Paths meander through lush greenery, inviting guests to explore the calming surroundings.

The garden’s serene atmosphere makes it a perfect spot for quiet contemplation. A traditional tea house provides a unique experience where visitors can enjoy authentic tea ceremonies. Each element is thoughtfully designed, showcasing the beauty of Japanese garden aesthetics.

The staff are both knowledgeable and friendly, enhancing the visit with insights into Japanese culture and gardening techniques. Its compact size makes it easy to see all the highlights without feeling overwhelmed.

Location: 11th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
Contact: (206) 296-6000

Japanese American Remembrance Garden

Nestled in the vibrant city of Seattle, the Japanese American Remembrance Garden is a tranquil escape that honors the Japanese American community. Visitors are greeted by meticulously maintained landscapes, including traditional Japanese elements such as stone lanterns, bonsai trees, and serene water features. The garden invites peaceful reflection and provides a serene atmosphere amidst the bustling city.

This hidden gem offers a deep connection to nature and history. Walking through the garden, you can sense the respect and remembrance dedicated to the Japanese American heritage. The garden’s design encourages contemplation and appreciation for the natural beauty and cultural significance it represents.

Located conveniently in the city, the garden is easily accessible and makes for a perfect spot to unwind. While it’s smaller in scale compared to other gardens, its intimate setting allows for a personal and meaningful experience. Each visit provides a moment of calm and a chance to learn about and honor the community it represents.

Location: 901 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122

Yao Garden

Stepping into Yao Garden feels like entering a serene retreat from the bustling city. The garden’s winding gravel paths and stone benches create a peaceful atmosphere that encourages visitors to slow down and appreciate the beauty around them. Camellias in bloom add vibrant colors, contributing to the garden’s charm.

Each season brings new transformations. In spring, cherry blossoms create a pink canopy, while autumn paints the garden in vibrant hues of red and gold. The carefully arranged rock formations and flowing water features enhance the tranquil ambiance, making every visit an enriching experience.

Educational programs and festivals are a highlight. From Japanese gardening workshops to seasonal celebrations, these events offer engaging experiences for all ages. Free guided tours by dedicated volunteers provide deeper insights into the garden’s history and horticulture, ensuring a more meaningful visit.

Location: 12001 Main St, Bellevue, WA 98005
Contact: (206) 684-4725
Website: Visit Website

Waterfall Garden Park

Waterfall Garden Park is a hidden gem in Seattle, located in the vibrant Pioneer Square. This charming pocket park commemorates the birthplace of what we now know as United Parcel Service (UPS). A scenic 22-foot man-made waterfall provides a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Visitors can enjoy the dual-level patio featuring tables and chairs, making it a perfect spot to relax with lunch or coffee. The park offers a tranquil setting for reading a book or quiet contemplation. The sound of the cascading water enhances the peaceful ambiance.

The Anne E. Casey Foundation, established by UPS’s founder, built and maintains this beautiful park. A plaque installed in 2007 marks the 100th anniversary of the company’s foundation. The attention to detail and historical significance make this park a special place to visit.

Location: 219 2nd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104
Contact: (360) 805-6700
Website: Visit Website

Weyerhauser Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection

Weyerhauser Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection is a delight for bonsai enthusiasts with its meticulously curated collection of miniature trees. These bonsai, hailing from various parts of the Pacific Rim, showcase the centuries-old art form in an enchanting setting. Walking through the collection, visitors are treated to captivating examples of this delicate and intricate practice.

Each bonsai tells its own story, inviting visitors to ponder the history and craftsmanship behind each tiny tree. From the gnarled trunks of ancient pines to the delicate blossoms of cherry trees, the collection offers a diverse range of species and styles. It’s easy to get lost in the intricate details and serene atmosphere the collection provides.

The outdoor setting enhances the experience, with the bonsai trees arranged in harmony with the landscape. The display creates a tranquil environment perfect for reflection and appreciation of nature’s beauty. Guided tours and workshops are available, offering deeper insights into the art and allowing enthusiasts to expand their knowledge.

Location: 2515 South 336th St, Federal Way, WA 98003
Contact: (206) 684-4725
Website: Visit Website

About the author

My name is April, and I’m a Seattle-based writer, traveler, and foodie. I started this travel guide blog to share my passion for Seattle with fellow travelers and locals alike.

Whether you’re looking for the best coffee shops, the trendiest restaurants, or the most scenic hiking trails, I’ve got you covered.

When I’m not writing or exploring Seattle, you can find me watching movies with my husband, reading, or gardening with my dog in the backyard.

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