An ancient pond
a frog jumps in
the sound of water
This is a universally accepted western translation of the original Japanese haiku from 1686. It is regarded as one of Basho’s best short poems for its faithful devotion to the 5-7-5 pattern, and most importantly its capture of the Japanese reverence for nature.
Japanese art in all its forms depicts nature as vast, while animals and people are part of the landscape. An expansive pond absorbing a tiny frog with its ripples resonating seemingly for eternity is a Zen moment.
Anderson Japanese Gardens
we walk the path
the absence of noise
Scroll down to see more photos and read more about Anderson Japanese Gardens.
“At Anderson Japanese Gardens, I always feel relaxed and forget about everything. I just enjoy the moment!”
My mom and I first visited Anderson Japanese Gardens in the early 2000s. We might have read about it for the first time in a free Japanese newspaper. Our discovery led to a revelation. Every time we revisited the Gardens, we were treated to a new experience. We observed construction of new facilities and enhancements to the layout, all the while the overall spirit remaining strong and true to the original vision of designer Hoichi Kurisu.
I introduced Lisa to Anderson Japanese Gardens in 2011, just days before I visited my family in Japan. I felt relaxed and happy about my upcoming trip, and the Gardens was the perfect launching point for our relationship taking another forward step. Lisa loved the immersion in the Japanese aesthetic, and she would be further impressed by her first visit to Japan a few years later.
This was the first visit to Anderson Japanese Gardens for Lisa, my mom and me. And it had been several years since our last visit. Did anything change? Would we remember it well? Could this be our Zen moment?
“I like so many different things from the waterfall to all the hidden treasures like the dipper and the tanuki sculpture. I love feeling relaxed from all the beauty!”
As soon as we took our first steps in the perimeter of the Gardens before we checked in, we felt transported to another place. One wish came true. Although time passed for us and the Gardens, we had moved through time together.
Everything looked and felt familiar. The strongest impression was the release of stress and negative energies. All the noise and friction were released. And we had just started.
We didn’t need the map; we just followed the path in our memories. The sounds and smells brought us to the Garden of Reflection, the West Waterfall, and the Pond Strolling Garden. The extended spring stimulated the Gardens to lush greenery, while the flowers were just beginning to bloom. Every splash of floral color was a serendipitous discovery. The deep foliage was a luscious mood of sublime mystery perfect for the contemplative garden sculptures and patterns raked in the gravel.
Everyone was excited about revisiting the Gardens. Mom: “At Anderson Japanese Gardens, I always feel relaxed and forget about everything. I just enjoy the moment!” Lisa: “I like so many different things from the waterfall to all the hidden treasures like the dipper and the tanuki sculpture. I love feeling relaxed from all the beauty!” And me: “It’s a different experience every time. I remember it well over the years but there’s changes with every visit. I feel renewed every time!”
“It’s a different experience every time. I remember it well over the years but there’s changes with every visit. I feel renewed every time!”
After our travels, we visited the onsite restaurant, Fresco at the Gardens, for a late lunch. The seating capacity was full and the menu was packed with hard choices. My mom chose Blackened Salmon Tacos, while Lisa selected Surf & Turf Sliders, and I went with the Crab Cake Sandwich. I asked everyone for their opinions. Mom: “I like the sauce and the crunch of the jicama. The Blackened Salmon Tacos have nice texture and spice!” Lisa: “The Surf & Turf Sliders are very tender and flavorful. The Cajun shrimp bring a nice heat. The Truffle Fries are very flavorful!” And me: “This Crab Cake Sandwich is high quality. The crab is tender and shredded in nice chunks. The sauce is light and complementary. This really stimulates my appetite!”
Anderson Japanese Gardens will take up most of your day to walk the path and appreciate many details. You won’t observe everything during your first visit because there’s so much to see with every step. Visiting the Gardens is an excellent exercise in slowing down, tuning out the digital noise, and turning back on the analog senses. Nature is vast and we are small. Get back to nature and let your first step ripple forever.
To learn more and plan your visit to Anderson Japanese Gardens, click Anderson Japanese Gardens
To see the menu and make a reservation at Fresco at the Gardens, click Fresco at the Gardens
To experience a dynamic presentation of Anderson Japanese Gardens, click on the link to my Adobe Express photoblog at Adobe Express – Anderson Japanese Gardens
If you are on Facebook, like my page at Facebook – The Simple Luxuries
To see more photos, follow my Instagram feed at Instagram – The Simple Luxuries
“My camera is my witness. My blog is my voice.” ©2022