We found peace and serenity in the heart of South Florida at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens. A quick walk from the entrance to the gardens and our life was transformed from the chaos of everyday existence to the quiet and tranquillity of a Japanese Garden.
The scene was nearly perfect.
The intricately manicured gardens opened up before us as we strolled across the first bridge. Even the bright green iguana appeared to turn and smiled as we passed. The flowers bloomed, the Koi swam in the ponds, the paths meandered through beauty while the few structures rose up with grace. The quiet was welcoming, especially after travelling in the US from New York.
The 16 acres of the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens is the only museum in the Southeast United States wholly dedicated to the living culture of Japan. Its garden, called Roji-En, is one of the top 10 Japanese gardens in Europe, North America and Australia according to the Journal of Japanese Gardening. It is a wonderful place for people of all ages, including teens.
As we meandered through the gardens we visited six different styles of Japanese gardens, based on time periods. Every detail painstakingly placed to perfection. Like most works of art, it’s personal. I present here my favourite images.
There was even an extensive collection of bonsai trees which was designated a World Bonsai Friendship Federation Resource Center. This is one of my favourites:
One of our girls simply couldn’t resist rubbing the Buddha’s tummy for good luck.
The day was hot, and we were thrilled to find many shady areas and icy cold water coolers and paper cups throughout the gardens. Despite the nearly 100-degree heat, we completed the mile-long walk slowly, feeling relaxed and peaceful by the time we finished.
Before venturing into the air-conditioned museum, we stopped at the award-winning Cornell Cafe to enjoyed exquisitely prepared sushi, teriyaki chicken and a bento box. We sat outside overlooking Morikami Lake.
Finally, we ventured into the new Morikami museum building and viewed the Wood Be Kindred Spirits exhibit featuring the Kokeshi Dolls. It’s only there until mid-Sept. Photography was not permitted.
If I could have timed it better, I would have loved to visit some of the special events at the museum including festivals for the new year, spring and the lantern festival.
- Located in Delray Beach Florida, the museum has plenty of free parking.
- The museum and gardens are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm.
- NOTE: the Cornell Cafe is available only to paid museum visitors or members. Cafe hours are 11 am to 3 pm, closed on Mondays.
- While in Delray Beach, don’t miss the bird life (and alligators) at the free to enter Wakodahatchee Wetlands.
- If you are spending the night, be sure to check Booking.com for the best accommodation prices.
Have you been to Morikami Museum or other Japanese Gardens?
All photos on this page ©Rhonda Albom 2013. All Rights Reserved.
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Disclaimer: We were provided complimentary entry. The opinions expressed here are my own.