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Japanese Garden

Hoichi-Kurisu-for-web-300x460Dubuque Arboretum Japanese Garden

The Japanese Garden :: in process

For almost two decades the Japanese Garden has been in process … envisioned, planned, and painstakingly created under the expert guidance of Hoichi Kurisu, a master designer of Japanese gardens.

Fall 2014: A stunning photograph of a water-and-rocks feature in our Japanese Garden.
[Photo credit: Rich Mattas.]


about the Japanese Garden

:: The commingling of art and ambiance, the Japanese Garden is an expanding and improving garden.

:: Built entirely by volunteers and through the generous donations of supporters, this cultural treasure welcomes you in.

:: Pieces of traditional Japanese art, commissioned by the Dubuque Arboretum and created by artists in Japan, were installed in 2012.

:: A sense of serenity and peace pervades its grounds. Form and balance. The sounds of nature.

Japanese Pond-700x203-W

intent & expression

A garden in the Japanese style is intended to offer peace and quiet contemplation … with restraint, order, harmony, and decorum as the guiding design principles. It is an expression of love for living things, acceptance of the transience of nature reflected in the changing seasons, and an inspired vision of the eternal.


some features to note

:: Stone lanterns … pointing the way.

:: A stone tower … for visual beauty … noting the contrast of the vertical to the horizontal aspects of the garden.

:: A Tsukubai (water basin) … for ritual cleansing.

:: Koi (goldfish) … populating the pond that serves as the bridge’s stage.


one landscape at a time

Water & Trees:: As a promenade garden reflecting life, a Japanese garden attempts to recreate the world in miniature with all the elements of the natural world arranged to encourage relaxation and meditation:
:: Paths, both curved and straight, lead you to the next view.
:: Winding paths reveal hidden views, objects, or structures.
:: Water adds sound, life, reflection, beauty.
:: Rock indicates solidity, height, background, shape.
:: Plants provide shade.
:: Wood links, dramatizes, mimics.
:: Water features — still ponds and cascading flows — contrast to the still stone.
:: Listen with your eyes and see with your ears. It’s the yin-yang of the garden accenting the two opposites.
:: Everything is planned to create a pleasing impact on all of your senses.



The majority of plants in the Japanese Garden are evergreen trees and shrubs. The evergreen emphasis is specifically related to the goal of creating four-season beauty. Deciduous plants, such as Japanese maples, are used as accents. Herbaceous annuals and perennials are used as minor grace notes.


THANK YOU. We appreciate the generosity
of the folks at Kloubec Koi Farm who kindly donate
koi fish to populate our Japanese Garden Pond.

Klubec Koi Farm - 400x60

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