You might not expect to see an authentic Japanese garden and tea room in the same place that's known to many as "Beer City," but this place is a must-see. This spot is just one of the many beautiful areas inside the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids. It's really amazing to have such a beautiful oasis right next to the city.
The Japanese architect behind the garden was a pioneer in bringing this style of garden and design outside of the island country.
The beauty and meaning of this place don't just come from the plants. The way that the rocks and water are arranged and cared for is also very important to the overall design.
In fact, there is a Zen-Style Rock Garden within this compound that pretty much looks nothing like what we've come to expect from traditional gardens.
The small rocks are raked to create a pattern that surrounds the larger rocks that were very intentionally placed.
Traditionally, this kind of space is used by monks to meditate. You'll definitely feel peaceful once you step into the tearoom.
Walking through the area is an incredibly peaceful experience, but it's almost like a little treasure hunt too.
There are pieces from contemporary artists spread throughout the foliage, like Jenny Holzer's "poetic expressions" that are carved into rocks surrounding the pond.
The Japanese Maple and the Japenese Cherry Blossoms are scattered throughout the area and fill the space with vibrant colors.
The maple's fiery orange leaves light up during the fall and the floating pink cherry blossoms define the springtime.
Whether your travels take you to the garden in the summer or the winter, there are tons of things to do in the area.
Visit the vibrant blue waters of Torch Lake or see these ice castles that look like they came straight out of Disney's Frozen.
The Japanese Garden is certainly a highlight, but you could spend an entire week exploring Frederik Meijer and still miss some amazing sights.
They have several greenhouses that are imitating different climates. The Tropical Conservatory has got to be one of the most exciting of those.
They have an entire wall filled with vibrant orchids. Tropical birds also fly around this space.
Japanese Garden @ Frederik Meijer Gardens
Price: Admission is $14.50 for adults
Address: 1000 E Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, MI
Why You Need To Go: This is such a peaceful escape to really take some time to yourself. It's a very unique spot and it's so worth the trip.
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