Japan Festival Gives Gardeners a Chance at one of Houston's Best Kept Secrets

It is tucked into a secluded corner off Fannin Street, and unless you've spent timeat the Japanese Garden in Hermann Park, it is almost difficult to describe its beauty. Ken Minami is director of the Japanese Garden.

"The maintenance of the Japanese Garden has been well maintained by the cityhowever, this garden is losing the Japanese flavor. So, we decided to start some kindof renovation and we want to maintain the genuine Japanese Garden here."

Donna Fujimoto Cole is on the steering committee for the Japan Festival and helped to kick off fund raising efforts. She says there was never a big push to do more than just provide maintenance for the Japanese Garden.

"We're hoping to raise at least $50,000. I know it doesn't sound like alot of money, but when you're putting on a festival that's free admission, we're hoping that people will comeout and spend some money and get some culture throughout the festival, but also as theywalk into the garden just to feel the serenity that it brings to you."

Goers embrace seasonal changes with plants that bloom for limited periods but thrive in Houston's near year-round tropical environment. Roksan Okin Vick, executive director of the Houston Parks Board calls the Japanese Garden a jewelof the 324 parks maintained by the city of Houston.

"Residents that come to our city, that is one of the first things they ask us. Where can I lookfor a place of respite and the Japanese Garden is an excellent example. Unfortunately, it'sa well kept secret, but I think, not for long."

More information can be found on our website, KUHF.org.

Pat Hernandez, Houston Public Radio News.

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