An admired treasure of a place in South Florida, the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens will leave you enlightened, inspired, and Zen. I have always admired Japanese design. Quite randomly in fact, my traditional Italian home had a good amount of Japanese pieces sprinkled throughout – my mom and grandmother both shared the same love for these inspired pieces. The museum and gardens at first appear to be oddly located, as many people don’t associate South Florida with Japanese culture. But that is what is so interesting! An excerpt from the site:
“Visitors are surprised to discover a century-old connection between Japan and South Florida. It is here that a group of young Japanese farmers created a community intended to revolutionize agriculture in Florida”.
The Morikami Museum and Gardens are named after George Morikami, a native of Miyazu, who donated his farm to Palm Beach County in the pursuit of preserving the memory of his Japanese homeland, in addition to the farming colony (Yamato) he developed. The museum galleries feature different aspects of Japan’s diverse culture with rotating exhibits and the six garden spaces are inspired by Japan’s historic gardens. The grounds are pristine and provide so many areas to lounge and reflect. The gardens were designed by the award-winning landscape visionary, Hoichi Kurisu. He is worth checking out!
I thoroughly enjoyed the “Out of the Blue: Japanese Indigo Textiles” exhibit and the Dr. Ron and Arlene Kessler Bonsai Walk exhibition with numerous trees pruned in the Bonsai style. I always assumed Bonsai was a type of tree, but by definition, it is actually “the art of growing ornamental, dwarfed trees or shrubs”. The trees they have meticulously fashioned were absolutely beautiful.
The museum houses a pretty extensive gift shop and the facility serves as a popular venue for special events. The property has a restaurant called Cornell Café where many people have raved about the Asian fare (I can’t speak from experience, as I did not eat there). The restaurant sits at the start of the gardens, so diners have a picturesque, panoramic view!
I encourage you to learn more, and if you reside in the area, or just visiting, please make the trip and see what the fuss is all about.
What do you find unique about where you live? Do you have any recommendations or hidden gems that you find both educational and entertaining?