An Osaka Garden Photo Gallery

by Gary Ossewaarde

To main Osaka Garden page.- has more sets of photos and links to more. Osaka Festival page. Jackson Park home.

Photos by Gary Ossewaarde, with some by George Rumsey. More photos, in high summer, are near the start of the Wooded Island photo gallery.
Pictures of August 17, 2010 workday-

Friends of Osaka Garden website-

The Garden in the summer of 2002

The restoration in spring-summer 2002

First read the commemorative markers and admire the old pines and other trees. Approach on the raked gravel path the wooden fence and Torii Gate. Inside, look at the plantings the find a view to the interior pool, Moon Bridge, symbolic man-made and natural pieces, the East Lagoon and restored east shore beyond. Notice that you have to be well into the Garden on its always-curving paths to see that view. Be sure to circulate throughout, since you are not supposed to see the entire garden from any spot. (This garden technically comes closer to doing so than it should, and this photographer did transgress by putting "perspectives" ahead of close ups (meditation).) The Garden has a special, unique selection of plants, mostly that grow in Japan. They are tended and watered both by volunteers and specialists with the Chicago Park District and contracted firms.

Osaka Garden Torii Gate entry Osaka Garden Torii Gate entry
Looking through the Torii gate into the northern part of Osaka Garden From the north path of Osaka Garden across the heasrt na pond to the East Lagoon
Heart of Osaka Garden and ponds, ooking across East Lagoon to to East Shore Along the lower ponds in Osaka Garden

An excursion around the much-larger new waterfall and its lower pool, on your right from the Torii Gate.(Below is from the rim pool--the fall itself is not seen there.) Notice the Garden has little "rooms" and contrasts between shaded and open areas. (Photographing the darker areas can be difficult.) And while is it was intricately contrived and filled with subtle balances, it is the antithesis of the manicured western garden with its regular lines. Japanese ideas of space layouts and symmetries and gardens influenced Frank Lloyd Wright and Jens Jensen (who designed many parks and estates in Chicago and suburbs and other parts of the United States.) Note also the stone lanterns, often juxtaposed with water and natural rocks.

At the Osaka Garden waterfall
At the top of the new Osaka Garaden waterfall Pond below the waterfall, Osaka Garden
Pond near waterfall with a wonderful stone lantern. Osaka Garden Stone lantern detail alongside water. Osaka Garden

Waterfall, Osaka Garden

In the lower garden and along the newly reinforced lower pool and lagoon edge. Notice it is more open. Experts and lovers of/volunteers in Japanese gardens will have to decide whether and what plants should be added (Special irises are hoped for at the shallow south end of the lower pool; the many aquatic plants in the lagoon are a major accomplishment of the most comprehensive revision and rehabilitation in the Garden's modern history). This may be a funding opportunity. Notice that the classic views--to the Museum and Music Court Bridge and of the (relocated) Moon Bridge are still there, revitalized, maybe not as soft? And many will miss the need to step-and-zag across water to get to the bridge. Cross the bridge and let your bad spirits fall in the water; be inspired by the juxtaposition of boulders, gravel, stone lanterns, wood, roiling water of a mini rapid, grass and plants.
Across  reconstructed pond and moon bridge toward Museum of Science and Industry Closer of classic view across moon bridge toward MSI
Pond and moon bridge approach Osaka Garden Pond and moon bridge approach Osaka Garden; notice stone lantern
Moon bridge from south across pond. Osaka Garden New softened and stone-reinforced lagon edge, lily pads, view to Music Court Bridge in distance. Osaka Garden
From about previous point only mor toward north across lagoon and basin to Museum-note stone landtern. Osaka Garden Similar to left but spotlighting stone lantern and piled-up rocks. Osaka Garden

Far reach of the pond, merging into plants and land. Turtle stone in middle. Osaka Garden

Edge of East Lagoon at south end of Osaka Garden-transition from man-tended to  natural area.
Osakd Garden from above south by the tea house After viewing the shoreline and young aquatic plantings in the lagoon and viewing the shallow south end of the lower pool, a backward glance north toward the Moon Bridge as we start the return up the south side of the waterfall and to the tea house, a respite and remembrance of the 1893 and later phoenix temple and tea house. The tea house, used for the tea ceremony during Japanese festivals in the Garden area, can also be reached directly by entering the Garden through the Torii Gate and turning right.

Below: Reconstruction in progress, spring-summer 2002, with the lower pools dammed off and drained (note Moon Bridge upper center.)

Osaka Garden tea house

Osaka Garden recontruction 2002

Osaka Garden recontruction 2002
Osaka Garden recontruction 2002 Osaka Garden recontruction 2002