Houston Japanese Gardens

japanese-1There is something incredibly captivating about the Japanese Gardens. It’s as if some unseen giant cut a piece of Japan out and brought it to Houston to hide amongst the trees in Hermann Park. We’ve never seen anything quite like this garden in Houston. It could quit possibly be Godzilla’s summer home here, unbeknownst to us.

When we first arrived at the garden and stepped through the gatehouse, the moment was almost surreal. The lanterns from Chiba, Japan, Houston’s sister city, guided us through the daimyo style park. With snippets of background music from the orchestra rehearsal at Miller Outdoor Theater we walked down gravel pathways that lead us across quaint bridges, through cherry-blossom-pink crape myrtles and around large ponds that housed turtles and enormous koi fish.

Our casual sauntering brought us to the teahouse, which was welcomed with lots of picture taking. The teahouse was a gift from the Japanese. It was actually built in Japan and reassembled here. Behind the tea house is a waterfall that lulled us all into quiet appreciation before we left. If it wasn’t for the ever-energetic Amanda snapping us out of our trance, we might have stayed there for a long while. Possibly long enough to be in trouble once we got back to work.

The entire garden stands for so much more than just a peaceful getaway. It is a symbol of friendship and a collaboration of traditions. The result is another beautiful piece of foreign culture coexisting within the city. That is the beauty of Houston. It embraces diversity from all over the world to make its own unique identity.japanese-2 japanese-3 japanese-4 japanese-5 japanese-6

Insider’s Guide

• Wear comfortable shoes and plenty of sunscreen, because you’ll want to stay a while.
• It’s a quiet area, and has lots of benches to do some meditation or rest after a run in Hermann Park.
• Bring crackers or bread to feed the koi fish.

Address
6000 Fannin St, Houston Texas 77030

Hours
Open Daily:
April to September, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
October to March, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Parking
• Free parking is available at the large central parking lot in front of the Houston Zoo, near Miller Outdoor Theatre, and at the Houston Garden Center. Free parking is also available at the golf course clubhouse located at the corner of Almeda and MacGregor and at the Bayou Parkland Pavilion.
• Connected Lot

Family Friendly
Yes