PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Portland Japanese Garden has added a sixth day to its schedule — and it is exactly what the doctor ordered. 

Under the rain-soaked canopy of douglas fir and cedar trees, there is an awakening of this 12-acre slice of tranquility that is hard to miss. The colors are emerging from under the cloak of not only the long winter but from the pandemic, as well. Now with spring here — and hope coming into a clearer view as far as the pandemic goes — people are discovering the jewel of Portland’s West Hills.

“Just being able to step outside is more like an event for people and especially for families who know you’re not able to travel so much right now and a lot of people are staycation-ing and sort of rediscovering the local gems that are in Portland and sort of rediscovering their neighborhoods and their communities,” Megumi with the Japanese Gardens said. “We certainly feel that we are a cornerstone of that community too.”

It was designed and built here in 1963 as a symbol of healing between  Americans and Japanese in the wake of World War 2. Now trees and plants native to the northwest are punctuated by beautiful Japanese maple and other species. 

Soothing sounds of water falling, children’s gaze at fish in a koi pond — all parts of what makes the Portland Japanese Garden. It’s a place of peace, a place of healing and now more than ever a go-to place to relax and remove yourself from the many bothers and dangers in the world around us.