Jul 7, 2022 - Things to Do

Kubota Garden is a peaceful break from the city

Green bushes and plants are reflected in a pond with a building sitting on a terrace overlooking the pond.
One of the many pretty scenes at Kubota Garden, which is in Rainier Beach. Photo: Melissa Santos/Axios

Boy, did I need a visit to Kubota Garden on Tuesday.

  • I was cranky, plus my kid — out of daycare for the week — was crawling all over me and wouldn't let me work.

Yes, but: After just a few minutes in the 20-acre landscape, I began to forget about what had been bothering me earlier.

  • That's the effect of the place: You can't visit without absorbing some of its tranquility.

The spot: The Japanese-style garden, tucked away in Rainier Beach, was built by a master landscaper, Fujitaro Kubota, who merged Northwest elements with traditional Japanese designs.

  • The property was later purchased by Seattle Parks and Recreation.

Don't miss: I accidentally got lost, twice, during my first visit to the garden — something I highly recommend.

  • My toddler and I ended up climbing up and around the garden's largest waterfall, which feels like a city-sized version of taking a hike in the mountains.
  • The care that goes into maintaining the property is obvious. Even in summer, when little is in bloom, the variety of plants and trees provides a colorful show.

Details: The garden is free to visit and located at 9817 55th Avenue South.

  • Leashed dogs are allowed, and it's toddler friendly (as long as you keep your entourage on the main trails and don't trample the plants).
Two whitish pink flowers with greenery in the background.
All the plants and flowers at Kubota Garden are ready for a close up. Photo: Melissa Santos/Axios
A waterfall amid carefully cultivated bushes and other plants, with a stone walkway over a pond.
A favorite waterfall. Photo: Melissa Santos/Axios
A grassy clearing with evergreen trees in the background, a red tree in foreground with green bushes and stones.
Even in summer, the variety of plants provides a colorful show. Photo: Melissa Santos/Axios
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