Monday, 13 September 2010

The Japanese Garden, Van Nuys, LA

Another garden from my US trip was one we just “happened” on while staying overnight in Van Nuys, en route to Santa Barbara. The Rand MacNally map mentioned “Japanese Garden”, so we just had to investigate. It turned out to be a revelation, not only because of its integrity as a garden, but also for its conception as an engineering project.
Designed by Dr. Koichi Kawana, it is a 6.5 acre authentic Japanese garden. Dr. Kawana created more than a dozen Japanese gardens in the USA. What is surprising is that this one is part of the Tillman Water Reclamation Plant (yes, a sewage works!) which provides reclaimed water to much of the San Fernando Valley. Donald C. Tillman, City Engineer, had the idea for the garden, and continually pressed for its funding, until it was granted in 1979.

The garden includes a dry Zen meditation garden (karensansui), a wet strolling garden (chisen) and a tea house.

It was peaceful and tranquil on the beautiful day that we were there, and well worth a visit if you’re anywhere in LA. Please check the opening hours carefully, however, before you make a long journey.