outdoor, park, park of the week

Park of the Week: Japanese Garden

I’m always surprised by how many visitors to Hermann Park walk right past this secret garden without even realizing its there. If you’re one of them, here’s what you’ve been missing: little paths for toddlers to explore, mini fountains and waterfalls, bridges overlooking golden koi fish, towering pine trees, and cute gazebos. And, at this time of year, gorgeous blooms of flowers.

One of my favorite things to do in Hermann Park these days is to take Lana to the Japanese Garden and just let her loose. It’s fenced, so I know she’ll stay inside. (Of course, I still follow close behind to make sure she doesn’t fall into any of the ponds and streams!) Here’s a peek of some of the spots she’s led me to:

The pines at sunset: 

A peaceful oasis:

View from a bridge: (you can’t see the koi, but they’re there!)

Wishing well: 

Gorgeous flowers:

Even more flowers: (See them while you still can!)

Little shrine: 

Shrine #2: 

The whole park is nicely shaded, so it’s a good refuge from the sun on hot days. Parking is the only challenge – it is a ~10 minute walk from either of the major Hermann Park lots. But, the paths in Hermann Park are stroller-friendly, and you can uses your stroller on most of the Japanese Garden paths as well.

If You Go: 

  • Hours: 9:00AM-6:00PM.
  • Public Transit: The garden is very close to the Rice U light rail stop if you’re in the mood to take public transit.
  • Parking: I recommend parking at the Centennial Gardens lot (put in 1700 Hermann Drive on your GPS).
  • How to get there: From the Centennial Gardens lot, walk north past Centennial Gardens, across the street and train tracks, past Miller Outdoor Theatre, and past the plaza with the obelisk and the fountains. Look for the entrance to the garden just to your right after you cross the plaza. If you park elsewhere, use this park map to figure out your way to the garden!

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