Come see the beauty that is the Idaho Falls Japanese Garden and Pavilion. Conveniently located along the Snake River in Idaho Falls, the garden presents a wealth of natural beauty to calm even the most anxious of hearts and is one of the top rated attractions in the town.
The Japanese Pavilion opened to the general public in 2016 after months of hard work from the many volunteers dedicated to creating it. Both the garden and the pavillion have been ranked as high as the fourth most popular attraction in Idaho Falls. It is part of the Sister Cities International Program (with Tokai Mura in Japan) and exchange students visit the garden as well as the area in general every other year.
Some of the stonework and other gardening elements have been donated from their sister city as well, giving an authentic look to the replica garden. The garden and pavilion are constantly undergoing growth and expansion, as the garden designer always has projects that he has in the works.
Both the Japanese Pavilion and Japanese Garden are open to the general public all year round, 24 hours a day. However, occasionally the premises will be rented out for a special event like a wedding or a birthday party, which may require certain areas to be closed temporarily. Most of the time, guests can still walk quietly around the grounds with permission. Below are a few of the “must see” sections of the garden:
? Sidewalks - Walking into the gardens, guests should be sure to look down. All of the sidewalks are made from lava rock, replacing the original clay sidewalk paths which became dangerous when they got wet. The sidewalks were all locally fabricated by landscapers.
? Wooden floors - The wooden floors at the Japanese Pavilion have been hand selected from a cedar company who has specialized wood grown only in a very small geographic area located on the beautiful Oregon Coast. The majority of the wood that the company chosen for the flooring sells ends up in Japan, in fact, making this the perfect company for the Japanese Pavilion. The closeness of the type of wood grown onsite and the type used and grown in Japan is almost 99%.
? Moss garden - The moss garden was specifically for its beauty and Japanese authenticity. The green moss was developed for guests to view, especially while sitting in the shade.
? Roof/woodworking details - The roof and the woodworking associated with the structures located in the garden are intricate and beautiful, as well as being handcrafted by volunteer woodworking artisans. Up to eight different layers of tile has been permanently installed and held in place with nails (stainless steel), heavy-duty wiring, and mortar that was specifically chosen to match each tile. The mason who completed the project used new techniques that haven’t been seen in Idaho to this point. This type of Japanese style roof is rare in the US due to the intricacy required for creating it and is a local, as well as national, architectural gem.
? Metal ornaments - Located on many of the roofs are handcrafted, intricate metal ornaments. These ornaments often feature the chrysanthemum, which is a symbol of both Japan and the Emperor there.
The Japanese Pavilion and Garden exist entirely on volunteers. Many volunteers, especially students of gardening, landscaping, or metal work, find helping out around the garden to be highly beneficial to their careers and their education. Often, projects that are necessary around the garden can be “sourced out” to volunteers to work on during their own time and/or at home. This can be a great way to volunteer at the garden without having to be locked in to a specific schedule or time constraint. For students interested in helping out around the garden, contact Edward who is the main person in charge of the garden by phone. He will help discuss what is needed and what each specific participant can do to add to the health, beauty, and landscaping potential of the garden as a whole. There is absolutely no time commitment that must be made, which makes this the ideal way to get some “field” time in while learning a new skill or furthering the understanding of a current one.
There are no official dining options for visitors of the garden and pavilion, but guests are welcome and encouraged to bring a picnic lunch and stay awhile. It is mandatory, however, that guests pick up after themselves and all trash must be placed in a receptacle before leaving. No grills or alcoholic beverages are allowed.
Idaho Falls Japanese Garden, Island in river at Broadway, Sportsman Park, Idaho Falls, ID, 83210, Phone: 208-881-3569