The Portland Japanese Garden is a traditional Japanese garden occupying 12 acres, located within Washington Park in the West Hills of Portland, Oregon, United States. It is operated as a private non-profit organization, which leased the site from the city in the early 1960s. Stephen D. Bloom has been the chief executive officer of the Portland Japanese Garden since 2005.
The Garden Pavilion was built in 1980 in Japanese style by local builders: it has a tiled roof, wooden verandas, and Shōji sliding doors. It is the center of several Japanese cultural festivals, art exhibitions, and other events. The west veranda faces the Flat Garden, and the east veranda overlooks downtown Portland and Mount Hood, which resembles Mount Fuji. Dozens of stone lanterns are present throughout the garden. The lower entrance features a 100-year-old temple gate, a 1976 gift of the Japanese Ancestral Society of Portland Oregon.
As a Japanese garden, the desired effect is to realize a sense of peace, harmony, and tranquility and to experience the feeling of being a part of nature. Three of the essential elements used to create the garden are stone, the "bones" of the landscape; water, the life-giving force; and plants, the tapestry of the four seasons. Japanese garden designers feel that good stone composition is one of the most important elements in creating a well-designed garden. Secondary elements include pagodas, stone lanterns, water basins, arbors, and bridges. Japanese gardens are asymmetrical in design and reflect nature in idealized form. Traditionally, human scale is maintained throughout so that one always feels part of the environment and not overpowered by it.