Article by Linda Kissam Photos by Allan Kissam This is a very special attraction found near the University of Washington. If you’re looking for that “ahh” moment of peace and serenity, this would be the place to go. Bring a book and spend some “me” or us time. Don’t forget your camera. You won’t believe all the Kodak moments available to you. Three of the essential elements used to create a Japanese garden are stone, forming the structure of the landscape, water, representing life-giving force, and plants, which provide the color and changes throughout the seasons. This garden blends all into a magical activity. Easily walkable with a very gentle roll, it’s perfect for everyone. On my day here, the tinkling water, clear blue skies and inspiring landscape was home for singles, couples and families. Old and young alike will find their special moment here. Immerse yourself in the visual splendor of pagodas, stone lanterns, water basins, arbors and bridges. Each one is picture moment in itself. Japanese gardens are very carefully designed and patiently pruned according to aesthetic principals to create a work of natural art that inspires calm, renewal, discovery and an invigorated soul. Though most Japanese garden materials are not unusual, the way that all these basic elements are brought together and the emotions that they invoke is what makes this Japanese garden unique. Seattle Japanese Gardens is an authentic Japanese Garden maintained at the highest standards. Think grace, elegance, and gentle awareness exemplifying Seattle’s commitment to honor the Japanese cultural heritage and green space for all. Relax reboot and renew as you take time to watch the turtles, ducks and the occasional Heron. Purchase “official” Koy Kibble at the ticket booth and get ready for the hungry fish to dazzle you with their antics. Located at Washington Park Arboretum near the University of Washington, it is one of the most celebrated Japanese gardens outside of Japan. It features a formal stroll-through garden at the north end and an informal, naturalistic woodland at the south end. These are connected by a semi-formal area in the center featuring a lake, wooden zigzag bridge, and stone peninsula. Seattle Parks and Recreation manages the plant collection and ticket booth. The Arboretum Foundation manages fundraising, events and volunteer recruitment. Check the Website to see when a traditional Japanese tea ceremony is conducted as well as a unique series of special events throughout the season, including Haiku Day, the Tanabata Festival, and Moon Viewing. Seasonal hours: The Japanese Garden is open to the public from March to November each year. In peak summer season, the garden opens every day. In early spring and fall, it usually opens Tuesdays through Sundays only. Opening hours vary throughout the year. Regular admission for adults (ages 18 to 64) is $6. There’s a break for seniors and students. For general information about admission, schedules, and special events, visit the Seattle Japanese Garden website or call 206-684-4725.