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The International Japanese Garden Training Center

Garden designer Gertrude Jekyll once noted that a garden is a marvelous teacher because “it teaches patience and careful watchfulness, it teaches industry and thrift, and above all it teaches entire trust.”

Photo by Jonathan Ley

Every moment spent in the Garden can be a learning experience – whether it’s a spontaneous observation of beauty during a solitary stroll, a guided tour with one of our volunteers, or a hands-on workshop with a master. This year brings a wealth of new opportunities for learning in the Garden: along with the new expansion comes the launch of the International Japanese Garden Training Center. The Center’s mission is to teach the traditional skills and techniques for creating and caring for Japanese gardens while also acquainting students with the heart and soul of the art form.

The Training Center (formerly the International Institute of Japanese Arts & Culture) offers public lectures, one and two-day workshops in Japanese garden arts, and other short programs aimed at the general public, with new programs gradually being introduced. The Training Center’s flagship is the Waza to Kokoro (Hands and Heart) training program. This certificate program of three 12-day seminars offers a rich and immersive educational experience with history lectures, a design module, garden and tool clinics, a master class and a hands-on workshop.

Photo by Jonathan Ley

Application is open and only a few spaces are left for this year’s seminar, “Waza to Kokoro – Hands and Heart: The Use of Stone in the Japanese Tea Garden.” The seminar, August 25 – September 5, is designed for professionals in Japanese gardens but is also open to students and professionals in the landscape-related disciplines. Through a variety of learning tools, students will learn about authentic, locally-adapted design, construction and maintenance solutions for Japanese gardens. The seminar’s guest speaker is author and landscape architect Marc P. Keane and the instructors include garden artisans from Ueyakato Landscape Co. in Kyoto and the Garden Society of Japan, as well as Portland Japanese Garden staff.

Application is still open but space is nearly sold out. Learn more here.