A little know Japanese Garden sits in the middle of San Fernando Valley. The garden was named Suiho-En, “the garden of water and fragrance” by its creator, renowned garden designer Dr. Koichi Kawana. I recently visited the garden and took a little time to meander around. I always find it a pleasant retreat from the humdrum of city life. The garden (about six and a half acres) featured a Zen meditation garden and paths that led me pass neatly manicured plants and trees, stone arrangements, lanterns, a still lake and babbling waterfall. The main path also led me to the Shoin Building with a tea house and tea garden. While I’m not an avid bird watcher I loved watching the cormorants, snowy egrets, and the Egyptian geese with their unusual markings.
I’ve visited the garden a number of times because its location makes it easy to reach from nearly everywhere in Los Angeles: just north of the 405 and 101 freeway intersection. (See the map below.) The address is 6100 Woodley Ave, Van Nuys, CA 91406. If you’re interested in visiting, first go to their website at thejapanesegarden.com for general information and be sure to call ahead (818-756-8166) as the gardens closes from time to time for filming, poor weather, city holidays, or- if they reach maximum capacity.
Normally on weekdays folks quietly stroll the garden paths, like me, seeking a brief period of tranquility from the daily hustle and bustle. But at this Japanese garden you might also hear the happy sounds of school kids. You see this Japanese garden is unique (and this might come as a surprise) as it uses recycled water from the adjacent Tillman Water Reclamation Plant. The purified water keeps the garden lush year round. The class tours (and the general public tours as well) can see the importance and actual use of recycling water. I mean, what better proof of the effectiveness of the reclamation process than supplying water to a tranquil Japanese garden complete with miniature lake, water birds and gentle falls.
So when you visit the garden, be sure to make your way over to the Tillman administration building. It’s worth a look. By the way, if the building strikes you as something very familiar that’s because you’ve probably seen it on the big screen, especially if you’re a sci-fi fan. The futuristic-looking structure nestled adjacent to the garden’s small lake and manicured plants has become famous as the iconic Starfleet Academy seen in Star Trek movies. The garden and Tillman building can also be seen in many other movies, as well. The quiet Japanese garden and futuristic building somehow seem right for each other. Together they make an inspiring setting.
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Looking for more interesting places to take the kids and family? There are many County and City activites and venues in and around Los Angeles that offer fun and educational experiences for everyone. Click on these previous posts listed below for great family outing ideas:
Metropolitan Features including information regarding:
– Los Angeles Zoo
– Griffith Observatory
– The Arboretum
– Exposition Park
– Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History
– Santa Monica Pier
A little know Japanese Garden sits in the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area in the middle of San Fernando Valley. The garden was named Suiho-En, “the garden of water and fragrance” by its creator, renowned garden designer Dr. Koichi Kawana.