A proper warm up before exercise has many benefits for athletes, we are told. We believe a proper warm up might be the perfect way to prepare for an extended trip. We’re plunging off the deep end in just over a week, when we start our 14-month round-the-world trip by flying to Japan.
You might ask, “What is the proper warm up?” for our trip to Japan, and we would reply, a visit to the Portland Japanese garden. While still in the midst of frantic trip preparations, we desperately needed a break. Portland’s Japanese garden gave us a way of stepping toward Japan – at least a little – to transport us to a much-needed serene place.
The garden was quite simply beautiful. Different levels added drama. Steps leading up the hill, but to where? A tall waterfall dropping, plunging, crashing to the pond.
The panoramic view pleased the eye. All elements complemented each other in a harmony that strengthened the design. The garden relied on a limited range of earth colors. The many tones of the palette added a subtle richness.
Water played a strong element in the garden. Ponds, waterfalls, rushing streams. We could hear water moving – sometimes softly, other times rushing – as we made our way down and along the paths.
The architectural elements of the garden contrasted simple materials and repeating patterns.
Our visit to the Portland Japanese Garden provided a welcome respite. We’re inspired to visit gardens while we are in Japan and look forward to seeing more such works of art that please us visually and nourish our spirits.