Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Japanese Garden at the Washington Park Arboretum

Okay. Finally back to Things I Did on Vacation in Seattle with my Family. Is that title too long? Who cares. It's all about the photos anyway.

If you don't know this by now, I consider myself an Asian-o-phile. My writing includes several things I find awesome about Asian culture, like martial-arts, calligraphy, religion, mysticism, and so forth. I don't know exactly where that love comes from, but it's been there as long as I can remember.

My daughter Kylie is the same, except she is really fascinated by Japan, in particular. She's already taught herself to speak some Japanese, and even write the simplified form (Hiragana and Katakana, as opposed to Kanji, which is the more complicated writing most of us are familiar with).

Anyway, the point is, one of the most beautiful places we visited while in Seattle was the Japanese Garden at the Washington Park Arboretum. They have a real Tea House, which was unfortunately closed when we visited, and a pond that is filled with some of the largest Koi I have ever seen.

Here are some photos:


These lanterns are either iron or stone, I can't remember. They're absolutely beautiful at night, though.


Here come the Koi.



For some reason I couldn't capture one with his mouth wide open. They look really funny if you can.


This lantern was a gift from Seattle's sister city, Kobe, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. It weighs three and a half tons, and is hand carved out of granite. It is nearly 200 years old.


That's my daughter, Madison, pouting on the grass. We had a bit of a meltdown that day because we'd been doing so much walking.


Those are turtles, sunning themselves on the rocks. Madison would not believe us that they were real because they literally did not move for hours.

Our camera is shite, and none of us are great photographers, but these pictures turned out okay, don't you think?

If you'd like to know more about the Japanese Garden at the Washington Park Arboretum, please visit the website.

32 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Photos look great to me! Peaceful place. The one of your daughter is funny. Wouldn't be a family vacation if there wasn't a meltdown at some point, right?

Jules said...

Looks like you had a great vacation. And it does not matter the type of camera as long as it captures the memories. :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Matthew MacNish said...

I also need to announce the winner of Tawna's book. I'll try to remember to do that tomorrow.

Suzie F. said...

What a beautiful place! It looks so peaceful there.

maine character said...

Beautiful - you could've told us these were from your trip to Japan.

Clarissa Draper said...

That Japanese garden is beautiful. They have a similar thing in Vancouver, and I love going there. It's not like the real Japan but close.

I had turtles who would sit in the sun for hours as well. They are just lovely creatures.

My son is also learning Japanese. I think he wants to go there with his grandmother (who is Japanese). He's just starting to learn the Kanji now.

Thanks for sharing your pics.

DRC said...

Looks lovely. I love Japanese gardens. They're so tranquil and beautiful.

We used to have Japanese Koi in our pond when I was younger, but they never grew as big as the ones here. They grow to the size of their environment, and a pond this big would have swallowed our whole garden, house, neighbour's house, and maybe half the neighbourhood with it...lol. They are pretty to look though.

Jared Larson said...

Love the pictures, Matt! Japan's a fascinating place. Though my closest connection to it is through my addiction of Naruto Shippuuden. Yeah, I know. But that cartoon rocks!
My wife's mom actually lived there until she was twenty, so there is my claim to Japaneese fame, other than my secret gift of ninjitsu.

It looks like you had a great time.
And I love your daughters meltdown. I can totally relate.

Old Kitty said...

Oh the pics are lovely!! They make me want to visit there (sigh, one day when Charlie gets a passport! LOL!). Great to see you and your family too. I'm so impressed that your daughter's able to speak and write in Japanese - Yay!!! What talents!!!

Yay for meltdowns!! Family holidays are just not the same without them! LOL! Take care
x

Donna K. Weaver said...

Gorgeous pictures, Matt. I haven't been to this one but I love the Japanese Gardens in San Francisco.

The pic of your daughter made me smile.

Hart Johnson said...

I've experienced that child meltdown walking Seattle... The Pacific Northwest takes a certain level of stamina that my Midwest Children aren't quite up for. It's beautiful, though--I know it's a bit of a drive from there, but if you get back, it is totally worth it to drive down and do the Mt. St. Helen's thing. I also love Snoqualamie pass (Yeah, Twin Peaks!) Moving east what I miss most is real mountains.

aspiring_x said...

ha! who was the tough guy guarding the super old lantern?

i went to a japanese garden thing once... i think it was in rockford, il or madison, wi... can't quite remember where. but what i DO remember was how breathtakingly GORGEOUS it was!!!

it was like they took into consideration how everything fit together in the large scale, but also paid exacting attention to the smallest details.

also! the noises! they had these water-bamboo things around that made the most beautiful, relaxing noise...

i'm sooooo glad you guys got to go to such a place! and hurray for kylie learning those two alphabets! i think their letters are so beautiful!

poor madison! i would be sooo embarassed if a meltdown of mine were displayed for public consumption. it's a good picture though! i would of thought she was just chilling out!

Jessica Bell said...

The pictures turned out great! Um, that fishy does look like he's got his mouth open ... do they open wider than that?

Melissa Sarno said...

Beautiful photos! Looks like a wonderful trip. The comment about the meltdown made me laugh. For some reason, those are always the things that interest me about life. The meltdowns. :-)

Samantha Vérant said...

Really beautiful photos! Well, save for the meltdown shot. I know how that song and dance goes. Anyhoo, there's a beautiful Japanese park here in Toulouse-- filled with Cherry trees. So gorgeous in the Spring!

Shain Brown said...

The pictures are great. I can only imagine how much fun you and your family had while visiting, especially with scenery like that.

Michael G-G said...

Next time, you'll have to come to Portland to compare our Japanese garden. We could also spring for a couple of meltdowns, too--I have some Meltdown Masters in my bunch.

Tell Kylie to keep up with her Japanese. I lived there for three years and it was fascinating. (Also the place I met my American wife.)

Amanda Bonilla said...

Gorgeous!!!

Michael Offutt said...

Absolutely stunning. If you make it to Japan, I recommend that of the castles that there are to see, you visit Himeji Castle. When I went there, it was so beautiful and is probably the best preserved of all the Japanese castles. There was also a really cool ghost story about a girl that had been thrown into a well when she broke one of the 10 special dishes given to the emperor. It is said that she counts to ten every night and when she gets to nine, she says "Oh no, one is missing."

Carrie said...

Very cool. The lantern in the first picture reminds me of one at the Minnesota Arboretum.

I like the picture with the Koi and the turtle.

Ted Cross said...

I can't wait to visit Seattle when we finish this tour. Your photos remind me of some parks we visited in Bangkok, Shanghai and Beijing.

Copyboy said...

That looks like such a fun time. Koi and all.

Laila Knight said...

Thanks for sharing these pics. Japanese gardens always remind me of the day I got married. :)

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Great photos, Matt! Looks like a beautiful place.

And, though it's kind of kooky...I believe people are drawn to cultures they belonged to in past lives. Just sayin'. :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Looks lovely! I've never been to that part of the world, but I'd love to get there one day.

Sarah Pearson said...

What a peaceful looking place. I'd have been like your daughter when I was her age too. These days though, I'm happy to just sit for hours and watch turtles not move :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've been there! We used to drive up from Salem every year to visit the zoo, OMSI, and the gardens.

Jenny said...

The pictures are nice! This makes me want to jump in my car and go the Japanese Gardens we have here. Thanks for sharing.

The Golden Eagle said...

It looks like a beautiful place! Great pictures.

Sean Thomas Fisher said...

I don't know, Matt, I just watched Piranha with that one chubby kid from Stand By Me the other day and I don't think those are Koi fish. Those poor turtles...
But looks like a great time!

Jess said...

Gorgeous photos! The pictures alone have a calming effect, so I can imagine how peaceful it must have felt walking around in person :) Thanks for sharing.

Shallee said...

Gorgeous! I love Japanese gardens. I went to one in California that I loved. Thanks for sharing!