“Brocade parade of the eastern capital: a view of Hachiman shrine at Ichigaya”, (1860), Utagawa Hiroshige II (1826-1869)


shichi-go-san-kamakura-020 by Michelle D

An Historic Moment

On Sunday, a beautiful thing happened.

A decades-old vision conceptualized by the dreamers and doers at the Portland Japanese Garden became reality.

Nearly three thousand people came to witness the conclusion of construction and celebrate our beautiful new beginning: the Cultural Crossing expansion.

A 20-person delegation from the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine traveled from Kamakura, Japan to bless the Cultural Village from our new Tateuchi Courtyard. There were traditional dance performances, beautiful ikebana (flower) arrangements, a Japanese style chado (tea) ceremony, lovely sounds of koto (Japanese harp), the exuberant sounds of taiko (Japanese drums), and shamisen (a Japanese-style banjo).

Just one day prior, more than two thousand Garden members came for an exclusive look at our completed expansion.

In the words of CEO Stephen Bloom, “Who would have thought that the empty cement landscape of the former Oregon zoo would be transformed into a place dedicated to beauty, nature, and learning more about one another?”

Now, we are taking another step forward, evolving our story, through bringing people together in one place, demonstrating our fundamental interconnectedness, and sharing these ideals worldwide. This is only the beginning. 

Thank you, arigatou gozaimasu.


辨天八幡宮(2017/06/03) Benten-Hachimangu

東京都国分寺市西町2丁目   Nishimachi 2chome, Kokubunji, Tokyo, Japan





亀ケ池八幡宮 (2017/05/11) Kamegaike-Hachimangu

神奈川県相模原市中央区上溝   Kamimizo, Sagamihara Chuo-ku, Kanagawa,

主祭神は 応神天皇(誉田別命)。 相殿として神功皇后、比売神。



I took the train back to Kamakura after my visit to the Great Buddha, so that I could see the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine in the daylight and covered in snow. I was warmed from my tea break, and I ignored all the shops on the way to the shrine so that I wasn’t outside for too long. The snow was pretty slushy by the time I got to the shrine (although more was falling) and big chunks of snow was sliding off the temple roofs. It was relatively pretty, especially with the acer tree’s red leaves contrasting against the white of the snow. I didn’t stay long as I was getting pretty cold, so I hurriedly walked back to the train station and went to the next stop down the tracks, Kita-Kamakura.
There’s another shrine here, called Engaku-ji. It’s right next to the train station and it’s a large area filled with numerous temple buildings and gardens. There were plenty of opportunities for gorgeous photos. If you think Japan is pretty, wait til you see it in the snow! It adds a whole new level of magic to the place. Unfortunately for me, after walking to the top of the hill I couldn’t feel my feet or my hands, so I rushed back down to the station where I only had to wait 5 minutes for the train. My only goal was to get warm, and being on the train and then the subway helped. It was a quick day, shorter than yesterday, purely because it was so cold!! Tomorrow’s meant to be warmer and I really hope it is, I can’t spend my last week in Japan trying to keep warm!