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The Japanese Garden

6100 Woodley Avenue
Van Nuys, CA 91406

818-756-8166

In the midst of the busy San Fernando Valley lies an oasis – a 6 1/2 acre garden, which features three gardens in one. As one enters The Japanese Garden, designed by Doctor Koichi Kawana, there is a dry Zen meditation garden (karesansui) containing Tortoise Island, a three-Buddha arrangement of stones, and a wisteria arbor across a Plover Path. Next along the path is an expansive Chisen or “wet-strolling” garden with waterfalls, lakes and streams, abundant greenery, and stone lanterns which were hand-carved by artisans in Japan. At the end of this path is the Shoin Building with an authentic 4 1/2 tatami mat teahouse and adjacent tea garden.

The idea of having a Japanese Garden adjacent to a water reclamation plant was conceived by Donald C. Tillman. The garden’s purpose was to demonstrate a positive use of reclaimed water in what is generally agreed to be a delicate environment, a Japanese Garden.

The uniqueness of this garden is that it is authentic in every detail. At the same time, every effort has been made to make it compatible with the contemporary buildings nearby, as well as with the San Fernando Valley environment.

The basic style of the garden is known as Chisen-Kaiyushiki, or “wet garden with promenade”, and is fashioned after those strolling gardens which were built during the 18th and 19th centuries for Japanese feudal lords on their vast estates. Due to the immensity of such gardens, lawns were used extensively, giving these gardens a rather open and bright feeling.

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