Saturday, December 4, 2010

James Irvine Japanese Garden at the JACCC

The Hopeful Traveler at the Japanese Garden
The garden's website sums up the exquisite quality of this serene attraction:

Where love is always in bloom
The James Irvine Japanese Garden, also known as Seiryu-en or "Garden of the Clear Stream," is a hidden gem of Downtown Los Angeles and the wedding industry's best kept secret for intimate, unique ceremonies and receptions.

The garden features a 170 ft. stream flowing from a waterfall at the upper reaches of the garden, with blooming trees, foliage, and sounds of cascading water. The space exudes charm and elegance.

The big cities have always been where my travels have taken me over the years. In the midst of urban development it seems like a miracle to find beautiful and inviting open spaces or gardens like this one located at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center.

One of the characteristics of such a garden is the beauty it takes from every angle. Photographs make the garden appear much larger than its sloping 8,500 square feet. Built in 1979 and designed by L.A. landscape architect Takeo Uesugi, the garden is not easily visible from the street and features waterfalls, meandering paths and lush vegetation. It was worth it to experience the soothing pleasure of this hidden gem in the area of downtown L.A. known as Little Tokyo. The photographs in this post should sum up of the beauty of the garden.

The garden is closed Mondays and open 10am-5pm Tues-Fri. Weekend schedules varies; call (213) 628-2725. Admission is free. The garden is located at 244 S. Pedro Street about five blocks east of Grand Central Market making it for a healthy walk. More info at

The garden is named after the namesake of the James Irvine Foundation. Irvine was a California agricultural pioneer who established the foundation in 1937 to benefit the people of his state. More info about the foundation at


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