Now to me a garden has lots of flowers and bushes. But looking at The Flat Garden, your eye looks first at the sand design and then you notice how the shrubs and small trees and additional sculptures frame it. The sand is raked smooth except around some bit of ground which has some shape. You are immediately made to ponder over this garden in serenity. You just can't help it. It's stunning. The Pavilion provided some shade and there were chairs on the veranda to encourage you to sit and contemplate. In the heat, the white sand got me thinking about vanilla ice cream.
I'm not sure that was what the gardeners had in mind, but I thought that eating an ice cream cone on a hot day looking at the garden was a nice way to spend a few minutes.
From there I sauntered over to the other gardens. This five acre park seems so secluded. You wouldn't know that you're in the middle of the city. Granted, Portland is not urban by New York City or Chicago standards but it is still a city of some size. Approximately 200,000 people live here. traffic is not bad at all. You can go from one end to the other of the city in approximately 20 minutes.
There are four other parks within this enclave. I've attached pictures which of course doesn't do justice to it but it gives you a good idea of what you can find which I hope will encourage you visit Portland's Japanese Garden.