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The Morikami Museum in Delray Beach, Florida, is one of the most enthralling cultural attractions. Even if you have been there before, there is still an opportunity to enhance your experience!


The 16 acres surrounding the Morikami’s two museums entice visitors with strolling paths, expansive Japanese Gardens, an astonishing bonsai collection, beautiful resting areas, and an incredible array of lakes. In contrast, the more expansive 200-acre park boasts pine forests, picnic areas, and gorgeous nature trails.

The Morikami Museum

The Morikami Museum

As you stroll along the miles of gravel paths through the museum and Japanese Gardens, you will have the opportunity to discover mesmerizing outdoors in a whole new way. Moreover, for outdoor enthusiasts who love hiking through the landscape, Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens is the place to slow down and take your time.


Feel the breeze, inhale the aroma of flowers and bushes, and let your ears listen to the alluring sound of flowing water. You will also love listening to the soulful songs of colorful birds while admiring the astounding beauty of the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens. All in all, the landscape is a perfect destination to experience harmony with nature rather than hurrying through it.


The Morikami Museum


4000 Morikami Road Park, Delray Beach, Florida.

Contact: 561-495-0233

URL: www.morikami.org


Opened in 1993, the main building of Morikami Museum housing exhibits is an exciting place for exploring the culture and history of Japan. We attended various programs, classes, and demonstrations during our visit that brought Japan a little closer. In addition, we also even had an opportunity to explore the tea house, where we witnessed the ancient art of the tea ceremony.


Moreover, on the Morikami Museum ground, there is the Yamato-Kan model on a Japanese villa. Additionally, it also features many exhibition rooms with a beautiful open-air landscaped courtyard and a dry garden.

The Morikami Museum

The Morikami Museum

Furthermore, the main building was closed for many years and re-opened for the public in 2022 after a significant renovation and new exhibits focusing on history. During our visit to the museum, we thoroughly enjoyed three short documentaries emphasizing the stories of the Yamato Colonists, the life of George Morikami, as well as the philosophy of Hoichi Kurisu, the designer of the Morikami Museum.


Morikami Museum Upcoming Exhibitions


  • Washi Transformed

November 5, 2022 – April 2, 2023


Washi translates as “Japanese paper,” and New Expressions in Japanese Paper exhibition in Morikami Museum will showcase about 30 highly textured two-dimensional mechanisms, expressive sculptures, and vivid installations that discover the astounding perspective of this traditional medium.

Washi (Traditional Japanese Paper)

Washi (Traditional Japanese Paper)


Moreover, this exhibition will see nine Japanese artists embracing the seemingly infinite possibilities of Washi. In addition, the breathtaking inventiveness of these creative dreamers will deepen the understanding of how the past informs the present while also demonstrating how it can construct lasting bridges out of something as ephemeral as paper.


  • Witness to Wartime

May 4, 2023 – October 6, 2023


The Painted Diary of Takuichi Fujii exhibition is a comprehensive visual record of Mr. Takuichi (1891-1964), explaining his life in America as well as his experiences in World War II. While he provides a unique perspective on his generation, the exhibition also sheds light on events many Americans didn’t experience.


Moreover, featuring more than 250 ink paintings ranging from public to intimate views, The Painted Diary of Takuichi Fujii portrays comprehensive footage of the incarceration camps. He also offers over 130 watercolors that recap and expands upon the diary, extending those scenes with new views and other formal and aesthetic considerations of painting.


Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens


Occupying 16 acres, the Morikami Beach and Japanese Gardens incorporate six different landscapes inspired by Japanese Gardens. These landscapes entice visitors to explore and rejoice in the connection between South Florida and Japan, lasting for over a century.


In 2001, Morikami underwent a significant renovation and garden expansion. In addition to serving as an outdoor extension, Morikami’s new gardens also represent significant periods of Japanese gardens from the 8th to 20th century.


Moreover, Morikami Museum in Delray Beach, Florida, boasting distinctive gardens and collections, is also one of the most treasured cultural attractions of Palm Beach County. The landscape’s tranquil natural settings attract visitors to explore its many facets and learn about Florida’s fascinating heritage and its connection with Japan.


Six Japanese Gardens of Morikami


The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens boast six distinctive gardens:


1.      Morikami’s Paradise Garden


Paradise garden is a perfect spot to interact with nature and relax. It will take you to the 13th and 14th centuries – a time of lengthy civil war in Japan. Envision yourself as a battle-weary samurai wanting a break from war and searching for peace. The garden signifies pure land, allowing you to take a stroll and discover how the gardens blend as you go from the Bamboo Grove to the Paradise Garden.


2.     Morikami’s Early Rock Garden

Early Rock Garden

Early Rock Garden

Morikami’s Early Rock Garden is inspired by Chinese pen-and-ink paintings. This style stormed to popularity in the 12th century when the Samurai class hugged Zen Buddhism, which emphasized discipline, sacrifice, and self-reliance. Moreover, the garden is made of rocks that suggest waterfalls without flowing water. They portrayed water pouring from distant peaks in the ocean or lake.


3.     Morikami’s Hiraniwa Flat Garden


Hiraniwa Flat Garden in Morikami is an exciting spot. The garden replicated the 17th-century Japanese style when Tokyo was the world’s largest city. If you were one of the three million inhabitants, you might be excited to find a bit of the garden that you could enjoy.


Moreover, since those gardens were small, so creators used the element of shakkei (borrowed scenery) to dodge your perceptions. In simple words, the Hiraniwa garden borrows scenery from its surroundings and integrates outside elements.


4.      Morikami’s Shinden Garden


Shinden Garden is yet another attractive garden of Morikami. While wandering, the garden will make you feel like a nobleman living in Japan about a thousand years ago. Happy to share the loveliness of your Shinden Garden, you might invite guests for a boating excursion and let them admire its opulence.


Moreover, as you floated along, you might want your guests to indulge in a poetic discussion as you treated them to soulful music performed by skilled musicians on the islands.


Furthermore, envision yourself as a nobleman’s guest while visiting the garden. Instead of taking a boating tour, view the garden from zig-zag and side-by-side bridges that link different parts of the garden and offer ever-changing views.


5.     Morikami’s Modern Romantic Garden


Japan opened itself and embraced western influences during the late 17th and early 18th centuries. During this era, garden styles also changed and were replaced by a return to nature rather than the abstract and obscure. The Morikami’s Modern Romantic Garden entices visitors with wooden glens and gentle brooks trickling that rise and fall through the landscape.


However, it is worth noting that some of the paths in this garden are steep. So, if you are someone who likes a gentler route, opt for the broader walkways.


6.      Morikami’s Zen or Karesansui Late Rock Garden


Karesansui Late Rock Garden is probably the most peculiar garden you will find at Morikami. The word “Karesansui” means “dry landscape,” In the 15th and 16th centuries, these garden styles were at their peak. If you were one of the inhabitants of those times, you’d have probably discovered these gardens around Zen Buddhist temples.


While exploring the garden, it is an excellent idea to sit on its backless wooden benches and overlook the garden rather than take selfies and move on.


Worth Discovering Elements at Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens


Morikami Museum and the Japanese Gardens offer an enthralling experience for outdoor enthusiasts. As you walk through the Morikami gardens, various design elements are worth discovering. A few interesting factors that you can find include:


  • Older Trees


Age, especially in Asia, illustrates stability, endurance, and wisdom. While wandering through the Morikami Museum, you will come across various older trees with gnarled roots and trunks concealed with lichens. During your trip, don’t miss noticing the ying-and-yang of these aging trees’ lacy leaves in contrast to their sturdy deep roots.


  • Bamboo


Bamboo trees are an integral part of any Japanese garden. These are self-propagating trees and grow quickly. While walking through them, listening to their rustle, especially when there is a breeze, feels so harmonious. A fun fact about bamboo trees is that while a thin growing tree darkens the place, a thinned growing bamboo brings in the light.


  • Deer Chaser


Centuries ago, someone came up with a nifty idea to chase critters from streams. The arrangement of bamboo pipes filled with water and then depositing it into the stream every so often produces a monotonous and repetitive sound that sounds spellbinding. Although western kids often drop pennies into the water believing it is a wishing well, it’s simply not.


  • Rocks


Rocks have the element of survival, which is an essential element in man as well. In Japan, the Samurai class would use rocks to barter for goods. So, when Samurai got a new rock, they would give it a name and have a party. So, many rocks you will see in Morikami Museum and Japanese Garden were brought from Texas, except limestones native to Florida.


Wrapping Up


When visiting the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, the place will surprise you as you discover a century-old bonding between South Florida and Japan. Add the Morikami Museum to your bucket of peaceful, beautiful destinations in Palm Beach and get away from the pressure of everyday life. Moreover, if you are yearning for some gorgeous photos of Japanese gardens, Morikami Japanese Gardens are worth the visit.


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