Known for their serene backdrops, Japanese gardens are also the best places to rehearse silent-movie line readings. Get some peace and quiet with today’s Groupon: for $15, you get two tickets to a Japanese flower arranging and traditional tea ceremony at Anderson Japanese Gardens (a $30 value). The event will take place on the following dates and times:
- Saturday, October 29, at 10:30 a.m.
- Saturday, October 29, at 1:30 p.m.
- Sunday, October 30, at 11:00 a.m.
- Sunday, October 30, at 1:30 p.m.
Awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays by his Majesty the Emperor of Japan for her 60-plus years of cultural-education work, professor Ikka Nakashima indoctrinates visitors in the artistry of traditional Japanese flower arranging and tea ceremonies at Anderson Japanese Gardens. Much like writing a haiku or building a tree house from Lincoln Logs, Japanese ikebana artists express their creativity while adhering to specific rules of construction. By arranging branches, leaves, grasses, and blossoms into organic shapes and color schemes, artists confer their unique visions upon surrounding environments. During the chanoyu (tea ceremony), green tea spills forth in a unifying fashion, converging setting, ceremony, ceramics, and scents to construct a sensory experience that stimulates inner peace and the willpower to stop watching Law & Order marathons. The highly regarded Anderson Japanese Gardens forms the perfect backdrop for educational and topography-club gatherings with 12 lush acres of undulating paths, streams, and painstaking designs cultivated by John Anderson and Hoichi Kurisu.
Anderson Japanese Gardens
After traveling to Japan in 1966 and to the Portland Japanese Garden soon thereafter, John Anderson found himself inspired by the country's lush landscape and tranquil gardens. In 1978, after returning to his home in Rockford, he partnered with expert designer Hoichi Kurisu to begin constructing Anderson Japanese Gardens—12 acres of paths, plants, and streams, as soothing as those John visited in Japan.
The gardens still encourage a sense of calm and thoughtful reflection, as guided and self-guided tours stroll past undulating waterfalls, trickling across colorful flowers, beneath arched bridges, and over lily pads. Fruit blossoms on trees and bushes, sculptures stand very still, and koi fish flit about in a pond. On Thursdays, participants read from scripture, listen to music, and meditate during worship services, and a series of classes held onsite, such as origami and tai chi, impart Japanese traditions.