Saturday, February 13, 2010

#108: The Japanese Garden in Van Nuys

I had been wanting to visit the Japanese Garden in Van Nuys for quite a while and finally got the opportunity this past Thursday. The garden is open Sunday through Thursday only for a brief window of time in the afternoon. Call for hours because those on their website are not current, I believe. Admission is $3 for adults.

My friend Mike accompanied me and brought his fancy camera with him. I guess this subconsciously inspired me to take more pictures because I have a lot to share with you!

The garden is a sanctuary for various species of birds, many of which feed on the fishes residing in the lake. While walking the trail loop, I imagined that if I were a bird, I would take up permanent residence in this paradise.

There were not a lot of visitors on Thursday, and there are many benches where you can sit and enjoy the setting. On our walk we saw a majestic blue herring, artfully manicured bonsai trees, and white Cherry blossom trees in full bloom. The pink cherry blossom trees and some other species are not yet in bloom, so I cannot wait to go back in a month and see them.

One of our funnier sightings was a bird (an egret perhaps?) eating--err, struggling to eat--lunch. The problem was that its eyes were too big for its mouth! We watched the determined bird try to eat a large fish it had caught and carried back to land. After positioning it multiple ways in its beak, it finally gave up and a bigger bird stole it.

My biggest tip if you are going to visit the garden is to get good directions. The gardens are north of the 101 freeway. If you type in the address (6100 Woodley Ave) into google maps, for some reason it gives you a location south of the 101. So instead of typing the address, just google "Japanese Garden Van Nuys" and the map that shows up at the top of the google search page is the right location.

Also, as you are driving north on Woodley avenue, the gardens come up pretty quickly on the right hand side. The sign for the gardens is angled so that you can only see it if you are driving south, so keep an eye out for it.

Have you been to the Japanese Garden? What did you think of it? Leave me a comment below!

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