The Group Travel Leader

Portland Japanese Garden Expansion Features Cultural Village


The Group Travel Leader
Published June 06, 2017

PORTLAND, Oregon — Portland Japanese Garden’s $33.5 million expansion, which opened to the public April 2, features a new Cultural Village to provide a more immersive experience of traditional Japanese arts and culture.

Emulating monzen-machi, Japan’s “temple towns” surrounding sacred shrines and temples, the Cultural Village features an authentic medieval castle wall 185 feet long and 18.5 feet high. Built with traditional hand tools and techniques under the supervision of Suminori Awata, a 15th-generation Japanese master stonemason, the wall incorporates 800 tons of Oregon granite.

The garden’s other new structures include the Umami Tea Café by Ajinomoto, designed to “float in nature,” and the Garden House, constructed to host horticultural workshops.

Outdoors, the Tateuchi Courtyard features seasonal performances and demonstrations and three new gardens: an entry garden with cascading ponds and a water terrace, a small urban garden and a bonsai terrace.

The private Bill de Weese chabana garden — the first in North America — will grow flowers for tea ceremonies and the International Institute for Japanese.

The garden expansion is the first public commission in the United States for renowned architect Kengo Kuma, who is also heading the design of the National Stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.