July 21, 2024

There’s no need to go to Japan if the United States has some attractions that give a strong Japanese cultural vibe. Visiting the nation is an enticing prospect, but those who want an introduction to its charm can first experience it in the many Japanese-inspired destinations in the U.S.Japanese gardens top the list of said attractions, but there are other landmarks that offer beyond the greenery – like those that conduct tea ceremonies. Fans of Japanese culture – anime, included – should not miss pockets of Japan from Hawaii to mainland U.S., where it’s “arigatou gozaimasu” all day.

10 Japanese Tea Garden, California

Those who have visited the tourist-favorite Golden Gate Park probably have seen the Japanese Tea Garden, but beyond seeing it, it’s best to experience its calm. It is one of San Francisco’s top attractions, thanks to its unique charm in a bustling metropolis.

It has an enriching tea house, a towering pagoda, a stunning drum bridge, and a relaxing landscape garden. This destination is not just teeming with plants but also Japanese cultural designs that add to the ambiance.

Related: Here’s How Long You Need To See San Antonio’s Japanese Tea Garden

9 Morikami Museum And Japanese Gardens, Florida

When tourists visit Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach, they’ll be amazed by how authentic it is. That’s not surprising since it was founded by the Japanese who want to share their colorful culture.

This 16-acre pocket of paradise is home to many gardens and a museum. The latter hosts over 7,000 artifacts and artworks, taking guests on an enriching learning experience.

The gardens have bonsai and replicas of gardens in Japan. Strolling along Morikami means reaching seventh heaven.

Related: Where To Find Seattle’s Best Japanese Gardens

8 Sakura Square, Colorado

Sakura Square is small but steep in history, making it a beloved Denver landmark. This tiny plaza has been serving the community since the 70s, giving residents – and tourists – a chance to take it slow, albeit for a while.

It has a small garden and busts of former governor Ralph L. Carr, Minoru Yasui, and Reverend Yoshitaka Tamai. When June comes, the square turns colorful as Denver’s Cherry Blossom Festival happens – a wonderful celebration of the blooming sakura. Turning Japanese, indeed.

7 The Noguchi Museum, New York

Noguchi Museum in Queens, New York City features the masterpieces of Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi, an enriching place for lovers of sculpture. Its exhibits are home to many artworks like architectural models, drawings, furniture, and stage designs, all working together to inspire lovers of art and budding creators.

It even has a sculpture garden for when tourists want to rest a little, even as viewing the museum’s artworks is rest itself. Condé Nast Traveler said it best: this place offers “a quiet, meditative, aesthetically pleasing experience.”

6 Ten Thousand Waves, New Mexico

Bathing in hot water is a tradition in Japan, and it can be experienced too in New Mexico. Located in Santa Fe, Ten Thousand Waves is inspired by Japanese mountain spring resorts, giving New Mexicans and tourists the chance to unwind.

This refuge has been serving the community for over four decades, so guests are assured of superb services, from its hot tub suites to its lodging options. Rest comes easy in Ten Thousand Waves, a place of rejuvenation.

5 Portland Japanese Garden, Oregon

Those who can’t get enough of Japanese gardens should head to the one in Portland. Whatever the season, this Oregon wonder aims to deliver serene moments for visitors.

It has a tea garden; a pond garden where strolling is best enjoyed; a flat garden; a sand and stone garden; and a natural garden.

It also has a cultural village where guests can appreciate and learn about Japanese arts or try the treats of a cafe. The list of activities goes on, and tourists should try all of them.

4 Japan Marketplace, Ohio

The Buckeye State says “Ohio gozaimasu” because it has Japan Marketplace, home to only six shops but all unique and worthy of a visit. The destination promotes Japanese culture through a satisfying dining and retail experience.

Akai Hana is for lovers of fine dining, while Tensuke Express is for casual diners who love ramen. Belle’s Bread is for pastry connoisseurs, while Sushi Ten, as the name suggests, is for sushi fans.

Add the gift shop J Avenue and Tensuke Market into the mix, and customers will go home not just satisfied but wanting to visit Japan next.

3 Byodo-In Temple, Hawaii

There are many Japanese immigrants in Hawaii, and to commemorate the 100 years of their arrival, the Byodo-In Temple was established.

This Buddhist landmark is located at the foothills of the Ko’olau Mountains, adding to the natural charm of the area. It is a replica of a temple in Japan and is part of the lush Valley of the Temples Memorial Park.

In this Hawaiian charmer, resting in peace applies to the departed and tourists who want a stroll. Enveloped by beauty, anyone visiting Byodo-In will reach zen in a jiffy.

2 The Samurai Collection, Texas

Lovers of all things samurai and ancient Japan should not miss the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum, also known as The Samurai Collection.

This destination in Dallas features samurai armor, letting the public appreciate the items’ craftsmanship.

Some objects date back to the 7th century, an enticing prospect for history buffs. Included in the exhibits are helmets, horse armor, masks, and weapons that are sure to add to the fascination of samurai fans. Over 140 objects await curious tourists in this exciting Texas destination.

1 Japanese American Internment Museum, Arkansas

It’s not all about the good things, and those who want to learn about the history of Japanese American internment during World War II should head to Arkansas. The state hosts the Japanese American Internment Museum in the city of McGehee.

The nearby towns of Rohwer and Jerome housed more than 17,000 Japanese Americans, and some remains of the relocation centers can still be seen, like markers and a cemetery. The exhibits feature photos, a film, artifacts, arts, and oral histories.


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