This is one of the best, if not the best, Japanese gardens in the country! The Andersons brought in expert gardeners from Japan to plan and oversee the construction over many years to accomplish what is the most beautiful garden I have ever seen. On both of my visits I heard other visitors expressing their amazement and joy and I have no doubt that most anyone would really enjoy experiencing this little bit of heaven. The staff is wonderful and very informative. Very reasonably priced. Definitely worth every penny. I have already visited once this year and plan to go back again in the next few weeks.
Went a few years ago in the fall. It was beautiful and peaceful. The gift shop was closed. I understand that it has been rebuilt and can't wait to visit. Am looking forward to being there in the summer weather. I'm taking along a friend who hasn't been there. I know she'll love it.
Newly added areas this year include a visitor’s center with gift shop and a beautiful restaurant with optional outdoor seating. Also has outside area suitable for weddings. Beautiful little water falls tucked in quiet secluded areas. Seating for quiet moments to observe nature. Well suited for those with limited mobility or in wheelchairs or strollers, while still offering unique areas with stepping stones and steps that curve behind trees to hidden vistas for those able. Close to home, short - longer visits depending on ability or time. Great for visiting dignitary of all ages. Restaurant offers tea and wine for meals. Special member’s only meals offered too.
Kids love this place, they can see fish in the ponds, chipmunks in the meadows, many bird and butterflies all around the park.
Romantic place with traditional Japanese architecture and walkways in the very well maintained formal gardens.
Only hour and a half drive from Downtown Chicago.
Our first visit was later in the fall on a school field trip, it was even pretty then, the spring and summer times are outstanding. The school visit included info on the Culture and food with samples that the kids just loved. Worth the time and cost. There isn't much worthwhile doing in Rockford, but this is certainly a must.
This site needs more work to include a map with all items mentioned along with times attractions are open and costs ,to be more complete and helpful.
This is an almost perfectly constructed Japanese garden. It is especially lovely in spring and fall. While not huge -- it takes only an hour or two to see -- it has a lot of exquisite panoramas and photo ops. To me, the only slightly jarring aspect are the angel statues by a Swedish artist which don't really seem to fit. Gift shop is smallish but has some nice bonsai plants. Modest admission and free if you belong to the American Horticultural Society or one of its member gardens.
We had heard about this Japanese garden from an acquaintance and made the trip up on Labor Day weekend. We virtually had the place to ourselves, which was fantastic. The guides/staff are helpful and courteous. Most blooms were finished for the season, but the foliage and general design were wonderful. The near proximity of the busy highway sometimes intrudes into the peacefulness with sirens, horns and general noise, but the deeper into the space you go, this is eliminated.
The major downside was that there was nowhere to eat (work was in progress for an onsite Japanese cafe) so when we were finally too hungry to keep going, we left to find food. Several bad strip malls later, we were forced to eat at a KFC, which wasn't what we had hoped to finish the day with... I have high hopes for the cafe when we visit again. But really, for a few dollars apiece, we spent a fantastic, restful day. Highly recommend!
Our family loved these gardens. It was beautiful, peaceful, & fun for the kids. The adults strolled along the paths, while the kids romped around and ran on some of the trails. The kids loved the waterfall as well. Definitely worth the time and money. Great way to spend an afternoon.