I’m productively procrastinating on a post about Ôoku, so in the meantime, you get more photos!
My partner and I went to Oregon last week and while we were there we visited the Portland Japanese Garden, which just reopened to the public on March 1, 2016. We may have missed the cherry blossoms and came too early for roses in the Portland Rose Garden, but it was a lovely spring day and there were plenty of azaleas blooming.
We even had a great view of Mt. Hood:
Image: view of snow-covered Mt. Hood from Washington Park, Portland
A stone pagoda surrounded by pines, with a stone path and Japanese maple
(Fake) cranes overlooking a ponding surrounded by red and green bushes
A moss-covered stone lantern
A short stone lantern on a pond with a waterfall
View of the waterfall and pond with some koi swimming around
Multicolored koi by the iris garden and waterfall
Nope, we’re not in Kanazawa, but that stone lantern sure looks like Kotoji from Kenrokuen.
Japanese maple, fringed with red
Shishi-odoshi (鹿威し), a bamboo water feature that clacks down when full of water to scare animals away from the garden
The sand and stone garden, a walled garden with sand and large rocks
Bright green leaves on a large Japanese maple; the branches are covered in moss
A bright pink camellia
A stone staircase leading up through the greenery with a single pink camellia on the right
Close-up: fallen cherry blossoms on pine
The rock garden, with a gourd-shaped patch of grass and pink rhododendron bushes; Japanese maple on the right
Wisteria hanging over a rail
Bright blue sky with yellow azaleas in the foreground
Space-wise, the Portland Japanese Garden was a lovely stroll with a lot of varied features of interest, from the pond and water features to the rock and sand gardens. It reminded me a bit of some of the gardens around Arashiyama with the view of the mountain and natural paths. Check out their website here.