Japanese Garden

Lotusland’s Japanese Garden, as envisioned by Ganna Walska and Frank Fujii, is of the style of strolling garden first constructed during the Edo Period (1600–1854), featuring a central pond or lake with paths going around it. By following the path, the stroller encounters scenes which are specifically intended to be viewed at key points around the path.

Japanese strolling gardens feature the technique of “borrowed scenery”, which uses elements outside of the garden such as temples or mountains to create the illusion that the garden is much larger than it is. Japanese strolling gardens also use the technique of “hide-and-reveal”, which uses the angle or direction of the path, structures, thick foliage or fences to hide a particular scene until the stroller is at the ideal viewing point.

As we meticulously planned and executed the renovation of Lotusland’s Japanese Garden, we adhered to the essential design elements of a Japanese strolling garden. We vigilantly protected Ganna Walska’s and Frank Fujii’s legacies and vision for the garden while also working to modernize the garden with practical and critically necessary physical improvements such as fully accessible paths, gathering areas for tours and programs, and a healthy pond.

The Japanese Maple Walk is a new path winding through the Araucaria forest, with many “hide and reveal” opportunities. The path leads to the Miwatasu, or Scenic Overlook, which is highest point in the garden and overlooks the pond, the Lotus Viewing Deck, and Pine Island below.

We also wanted to create a tranquil place where guests may consort with Nature and the Divine to be refreshed and consoled. When you stroll through the newly renovated Japanese Garden, you will recognize original features that were carefully protected or restored. You will come across new features as well – some of them originally conceived by Walska and Fujii, but not executed in their time.

Altogether, the garden will look different yet feel very familiar. As you walk, pause at the revealed views to the pond and beyond. Rest on a bench and contemplate nature’s beauty. Listen to the gentle streaming of water over rocks and falls. Breathe deep. Be restored.