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We visited the Yashiro Japanese Garden in Olympia this week. The garden was completed in 1990 as a joint project of the Olympia-Yashiro Sister City Association and the City of Olympia. It’s one of the many parks and trails maintained by the City of Olympia. It’s just under three-quarters of an acre tucked in beside the Olympia Municipal Court on Plum Street in downtown Olympia. We’ve driven past it several times and we finally arranged a time to stop and check it out.
Even in early February, the park was quite beautiful and the hellebores were in bloom! Actually, a number of plants had buds and I felt like we were standing at the edge of early spring. The park is a small but tranquil oasis.
The park was designed by Robert Murase, a landscape architect. Born in San Francisco in 1938, Murase was a third-generation American of Japanese descent. When he was just three years old, his family was imprisoned in an internment camp during World War II. After his family’s release at the end of the war, they returned to San Francisco. Murase later earned a landscape architecture degree from UC Berkeley. Murase furthered his study at Kyoto University in Japan. When Murase passed away in 2005 his colleague John Nesholm called him a “poet of stone and water.”
Learn more about the sister city association. This website also lists volunteer opportunities for those interested in helping to maintain the park. (I thought the origins of the modern sister city concept was interesting.)
Location: 1010 Plum Street SE
Admission is free, hours are dawn to dusk. Download a park brochure and map.
Nature = joy. Get outside!
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Today’s Weather: What a difference 5-10 degrees makes! It’s drizzly today but not cold. Makes me happy. 50°F for the morning dogwalk! 52 at about noon.