Oregon Vacation: The Portland Japanese Gardens

October 24, 2008 at 12:44 pm

We had one morning to explore Portland before heading back to Colorado. So, of course, we headed to the Japanese Gardens. After a week of traveling, adventures, and family time, it was nice to stop for a few hours, let our minds relax, and simply be.

Morning in the Zen Garden

The morning was chilly and foggy. Portland was so lush and green, it felt like we were walking through a jungle. Only a tiny bit of sun filtered down through the leaves covering the city like a thick green blanket.

A misty forest

The gardens sit on a hill above downtown Portland, and seem to follow a very traditional Japanese motif. There is a sign before the entrance stating that the gardens are meant to be experienced by all of your senses, and indeed, we did.

The big waterfall

The quiet sounds of running water and wind in the trees surrounded us. The smell of damp grass and old stone permeated the atmosphere. The taste of cyprus trees and foggy mornings sat on the air. We ran our hands over smooth stone carvings and bamboo stalks. And everywhere we looked there was beauty to behold.

Mark and the second sand garden

Calm water

The morning went by too fast. We made our way back to our car, with a quick stop to smell as many roses as we could at the neighboring rose gardens, grabbed lunch at a kabob cart down the hill, and then hit the road, heading east.