The best feature of this place is its size. The lady working at the gift shop mentioned it was at least 13 acres big!. Every other garden I've been up to now seem to be really tiny, like the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden in Long Beach. The one in Van Nuys is HUGE as you can see in the map below.
First up was the administration building above. Not only is it very futuristic looking, I recognized it immediately as a building used in the movie Bio-Dome. It's also one of the most interesting buildings I've ever seen.
Once you start the garden, It is a big loop that goes around a decent sized lake. There is a decent amount of wildlife that have taken up residence in the lake such as geese and ducks in addition to other birds and little tiny fish in the water.
For those that enjoy the annual festivities in Japan, there are even several cherry trees surrounding the lake that are just starting to bloom. I would imagine when they are full of flowers, that it would look down right amazing.
The plantlife at the garden looked like it could easily rival many arboretums. On the map they were handing out, there were several legends naming the different plants and trees and then showing their location on the map.
What is a Japanese Garden without its tea house? I would love to participate in at least one tea ceremony, but I might save that for when I hit the islands next year. It looks like an excellent location to hold a wedding.
Now in the interest of full disclosure, The Japanese Garden is actually part of a waste water treatment plant, which is next door. Most of the time if you are walking through the park, you wouldn't notice anything, including the smell, until you get to that side. There was even a cool little walk way that took you to an outlook so you could see what goes on over there.
This garden is definitely the best Japanese garden I've visited up to now. I believe, much more than the garden in Golden Gate Park even. If you love seeing these places, I couldn't recommend this place more. Thanks for stopping by!
One last little note, I'd like to throw a shout out to Susie. Thanks for the post card from the good side of the great white north and I hope you enjoy the beers!.