In the fall of 2014, I was fortunate to have our son and daughter-in-law as traveling companions for a trip to Paris. Being unfamiliar with the City of Light, for the first day we hired a car and driver: specifically Roland and his vintage Citroen. We booked this adventure through 4 Roues Sous 1 Parapluie
Author Archives: usjapanesegardens
Koinobori — those colorful fish windsocks flown for Children’s Day to emphasize strength and good health — will fly again on the Waiakea Peninsula from Saturday, April 24 to Thursday morning, May 6.
Businesses and restaurants all along Banyan Drive and Lihiwai Street also fly koinobori, continuing an ancient tradition. Locally, it used to be the grandparents who put up the annual display.
In 2020, when the parks closed and we all were in “stay home” mode, Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens loaned the collection of koinobori to the County Building.
The koinobori symbolize courage and strength, qualities desired in everyone and especially in children at this festival time of year. Come see the display on your own time between April 24 and May 5. The display will be packed away for another year the morning of May 6.
Catching up on gardens visited some time ago but not yet posted: in late summer-early fall of 2014, two family members joined me for a trip to Paris and Giverny.
Here is a link to Monet’s home and gardens should you choose to plan a visit: http://giverny.org/gardens/fcm/visitgb.htm
With all of the public health precautions, public gardens the world over have faced closures, financial challenges, and in some cases deferred maintenance.
Some public gardens have used the closure time to accomplish long awaited improvements. The Japanese garden at Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan, used the time to reset large stones along a path and repair a hillside.
Lili`uokalani Gardens in Hilo experienced a little of both deferred maintenance and long awaited improvement. Thanks to the quiet actions of several volunteer groups, several deferred maintenance projects are being brought current since July.
Here are some of the more recent tasks.
For more information, please see the Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens page on Facebook. Web page is under construction.
East Hawaii Lions joined with the North American Japanese Garden Association regional and Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens to create a new stone viewing area 2017-2018. Lions Clubs return to the area for regular maintenance and improvement projects.
Cleaning and weeding of the area will take place under the leadership of Crescent City Lions on Saturday, October 10.
Volunteer efforts during a public health crisis require protocols to be followed. Masks must be worn. Physical distance should be observed. Pre-registration is necessary as the size of any one group is limited to 10 people.
Bring your own tools and water bottle. Hand sanitizer will be provided.
For registration, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Since late March, much of our beloved community treasure has been closed. Even Lihiwai Street was off limits to walkers for several weeks.
Slowly and carefully, our County is re-opening. There are new rules for volunteers to observe as we once again enter Lili`uokalani Gardens to assist with special projects.
The first volunteer day since March will be Saturday, July 11, under the direction of Fukushima Kenjinkai. Annualy, members gather to clean the large stone lantern gifted by the prefecture of Fukushima in 1968 to celebrate the centennial of Gannenmono (the first organized group of Japanese immigrants). The Tanabata Festival is observed.
This year, pre-registration is necessary as group size is limited. Other rules in effect through July 31 include: Wearing of masks and observing physical distancing is required. Hand sanitizer will be provided. Sharing of tools will not be allowed. Bring your own tools from home. Also bring your water bottle.
Fukushima Kenjinkai will gather by the large stone lantern on Saturday, July 11, at 8 a.m. Advance registration must be done with Winston Towata. Please contact him at email@example.com or phone 959-0425.
A second volunteer day is set for the following week. East Hawaii Lions will gather at the Lions Legacy Project in the southern shaded corner of the park on Saturday, July 18, from 8 a.m. to noon. Advance registration is necessary. Please contact Clyde Yoshida firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 640-4625 or Melissa Chong email@example.com or phone 640-0225.
For more information on Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens news and calendar events, please use this link to see the June/July 2020 newsletter:
All comments to this page are monitored and approved before being posted.
Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens is a 501(c)3 non-profit. Mailing address is P.O. Box 5147, Hilo HI 96720.
For several years after the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park opened in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1995 my parents adopted the plan during visits of picking me up at the airport and driving to Meijer Gardens for lunch then a stroll.
“In 1990, Fred and Lena Meijer were asked for their support, and they embraced the concept of a major cultural attraction centering around horticulture and sculpture. The original vision has turned into a top cultural destination in the Midwest region, known internationally for the quality of the art and gardens.” [from the Meijer Gardens web site]
Over the years, I have visited with family and friends several times, always delighted by old plant friends and new exhibits.
The main campus covers 158 acres. There is a large amphitheater, tropical conservatory, desert plant collection, a model farm, a children’s garden that was added in 2004, and throughout all the gardens, stunning sculpture is to be found.Special events add to the visitor appeal for residents and travelers. We attended the Dale Chihuly exhibit that was extended from April 30 through October 31, 2010.
The addition of an 8.5 acre Japanese garden on former swamp land was a particular delight to watch.
In 2009, plans began for a Japanese garden designed and constructed by Hoichi Kurisu and the firm Kurisu International. “His work ranks among the finest Japanese gardens outside of Japan, including Portland Japanese Garden (Oregon), Anderson Gardens (Rockford, IL), Morikami Museum and Japanese Garden (Delray Beach, Florida).”
The main gate was opened to visitors June 13, 2015. The garden has proved to be a top attraction within Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. More may be found here https://www.meijergardens.org/attractions/japanese-garden/
Meijer Gardens re-opens to the public Monday, June 8 2020. Advance reservations are necessary. https://www.meijergardens.org/plan/
Stay Home orders have been issued by several states in addition to the closure of even more public places such as museums and public parks to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
During “stay home” orders, several public gardens have devised ways to allow the public inside through postings on social media, video tours, and online classes.
The North American Japanese Garden Association (NAJGA) encourages support of one’s local garden during and after this public health crisis. In addition, NAJGA prepared a list of resources and links to a few children’s activities, which follows.
Enjoy Japanese Gardens from Home
As most gardens have temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, we encourage you to support and follow your favorite gardens online- and explore new ones.
We have created this resource page for virtual tours, books, videos, websites and other content you may enjoy. If you would like to contribute content, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love the opportunity to share your garden through our network.
Please check back periodically as we will update this page regularly.
We hope you will continue to enjoy the beauty and calm of Japanese gardens from home.
Facebook Live Streams
RoHoEn– Daily at 10am MST
1. Montreal Botanical Garden
2. Portland Japanese Garden
3. Japanese Tea Garden
4. Missouri Botanical Garden
5. Virtual Tours of Japan’s Gardens by Professor Clifton Olds
6. Better Homes & Gardens: Virtual Stroll of US Botanical Gardens
7. 7 Places to See Japanese Gardens in the U.S. (featuring many member gardens)
1. Japanese Garden Notes: A Visual Guide to Elements and Design by Marc Keane
2. Secret Teachings in the Art of Japanese Gardens by David A. Slawson
3. The Art of the Japanese Garden by David and Michiko Young
4. Professor Clifton Olds Bibliography– A great list of resources!
Home Gardening Links:
1. 10 Ways to Garden During Self-Isolation
2. Cultivate Something Good- Your Garden and Your Well-Being
3. Victory Garden 2.0- Ten Steps for Planning Your Own
4. Kids Gardening Made Easy
All over the world, people are staying home to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. Museums, public parks and gardens (and much more) are closed some indefinitely, some through the end of April at least.
Throughout Hawai`i, preparations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 were made in advance of Wednesday, March 25, when County parks closed. Overview photos posted above were taken Tuesday, March 24. One exception is exercise, but social distance should be observed.
Thank you to our County Parks personnel for keeping tables and restrooms disinfected daily and for maintaining the parks. All Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens volunteer days are suspended pending reopening of the gardens.
A message from Hawai`i County Civil Defense on Wednesday, 1 April 2020:
“All must adhere to social distancing and wear protective face mask.
“Your involvement is needed to follow all policies to stop the spread of the virus. Do Call Civil Defense at 935-0031 for any clarification on these matters.
“Coronavirus is no April Fool’s joke, please follow all preventive measures and observe social distancing of at least 6 feet and keep groups less than 10 people.
“Thank you for listening and be well.”
For additional information, here is a link to Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens newsletter for April 2020. Articles and photographs by Ku`ehu Mauga, Amy Nishiura, Walter Imahara, Bill & K.T. Eger.
UPDATE: Thursday, April 23, 2020
Visitors who do not observe the 14-day quarantine are subject to arrest, fines, and a trip back to where they came from.