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James Irvine Japanese Garden

James Irvine Japanese Garden

Known in Japanese as Seiryu-en or “Garden of the Clear Stream,” the garden was completed in 1980, marking the centennial celebration of the Japanese in the United States. In 1981, the garden received the National Landscape Award from the American Association of Nurserymen, the highest award in the nation for environmental improvement and community beautification.

The garden was designed and later redesigned by landscape architect Dr. Takeo Uesugi. The namesake 170-foot “clear stream” symbolizes the journey of successive generations of Japanese in America. The rushing fall of water in the upper garden represents the struggles of the Issei (first generation) against economic hardship and prejudices in a new land.

The stream then divides into two, signifying the political and cultural conflicts experienced by second-generation Nisei. The calm pond at the bottom of the garden reflects the wishes of hope and peace for the Sansei (third) and future generations.

The garden is closed to the public; however, it is available for wedding ceremonies, small concerts, photo shoots, filming, receptions, and other special events, and by appointment only.


  • Standing: 60
  • Seated: 20-30

James Irvine Japanese garden floorplan

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