September 24, 2019, Posted by: James

The Japanese Garden in Michigan

I made a pilgrimage back to my home state to participate in a friend's wedding the other day. After the festivities ended and I made my way back to Grand Rapids, I headed to the Frederik Meijer Gardens to finally check out the "Japanese garden" designed by some Japanese guy - I know he's Japanese because his picture was on a haughty plaque somewhere past the bust of an African woman staged in the "Carnivorous Plants" exhibit.

Despite the almost-but-not-quite minstrelsy, the gardens are a beautiful tribute to the tradition of Japanese gardens. A tribute inexplicably in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Although wildly over-priced, the gardens are very relaxing, and the mix of Japanese tradition, modern Japanese art, and overtly American roofing shingles instead of kawara are actually incredibly beautiful. It's personally like an upgrade of seeing an actual Japanese temple, but I know i'm biased since it's in my home town.

I really do recommend to anybody visiting Grand Rapids stopping by the Gardens and enjoying a little buddhism-inspired garden goodness. Just ignore the random signs with bible verses on them.

In keeping with the tradition of adopting Japanese things for my own in Grand Rapids, I had my niece try on a new yukata. She really seemed to like it, but I can't imagine there are a lot of people wearing yukata at fireworks in America. Maybe they'll make for good pajamas.


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