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Tea Ceremony

Join in one of Japan’s most distinctive rituals and see why refinement and subtlety are by-words in Japanese culture.

In classical kimono and following canons of etiquette established nearly 1,000 years ago, a master devoted to the art and spirituality of “The Way of Tea” will prepare and serve you a bowl of matcha, or powdered green tea, and a traditional Japanese sweet to nibble.

Performed with all the formality and reverence that time-honored custom decrees, our Winter/Spring 2019 tea ceremonies take place February 9, March 23, and April 6, at 1:00 pm. The ceremonies are not intended for children under the age of 15.

The February 9 and March 23 ceremonies have sold out, but you may still register to attend the ceremony on Saturday, April 6.

Please RSVP at least one week beforehand to yume.gardens@gmail.com, with your name, phone number, and the number in your party.  If you must cancel your reservation, notify us as soon as possible, so that we may accommodate others who wish to participate.

The cost to attend a ceremony is $15 per person, and you may buy a ticket online. (Do remember to RSVP.) Click on “Events” in the menu bar at the top of any page of our website. In the drop-down menu that then opens, click on “Buy Tickets” and make your purchase.

Whether you obtain your ticket online or purchase it in person on the day of the ceremony, you must also pay the applicable Gardens admission fee upon arrival for the event. Members of Yume Japanese Gardens enjoy free entry, and pay only the $15 ceremony charge.

For these events, please park in the lot behind our main gate on North Alvernon Way, or on East Justin Lane, one half block south of Yume. Non-resident parking is no longer permitted on East Hampton Place, on the north side of the Gardens.

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Girl’s Day Doll Exhibit

Japanese parents cherish their pre-teen daughters and hail their health and happiness with displays of small dolls – hina – every March 3. Ornamental only and not for play, they represent the enthroned Emperor and Empress and their attendants, garbed in the sumptuous court robes of 1,000 years ago.

These elaborate miniatures are the hallmark of Hinamatsuri, the Girl’s Day Festival. Most often arrayed on multi-tiered stands draped in red cloth, they are many times family heirlooms.

As part of the festival, girls hold parties with friends and enjoy traditional foods such as eaten by Japan’s ancient rulers and nobles. Superstition says the dolls must be stored the day after the celebration: leaving them too long on show may result in a girl’s eventual marriage being delayed. Doll displays usually end after a girl turns 10; a family will then stow away its set of hina treasure-like, awaiting the day when it can be passed down to a little girl grown into a woman with daughters of her own to honor.

Our doll set is a vintage one, more than a century old. Its Emperor and Empress have gazed regally upon multiple generations of young girls. You can gaze back, in admiration of their meticulously detailed costumes and their many retainers, on view in all their finery from February 15 to March 16.

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Spring Ikebana Floral Festival

Enjoy the beauty of dozens of signature floral compositions highlighting the wide breadth of flower arrangement styles in one of Japan’s most cherished art forms, during our Spring 2019 Ikebana Floral Festival.

As we do each year, we open the Gardens to the talented adepts of five different schools of Ikebana practice. The result: elegant floral displays throughout our grounds and buildings that reflect the harmony, discipline, and refinement of traditional Japanese flower arranging.

The festival runs from Tuesday, February 19 to Wednesday, February 27. Admission is free for members of the Gardens. Admission for non-members is $15 for adults and $5 for children ages three to 15, and includes entry to the entire Gardens, our Museum, and our Art Gallery.

Be sure to combine your visit with a walk through our permanent display of selections from our collection of more than 200 Ikebana vases and vessels – the largest in the nation. Made of ceramics, bamboo, bronze, lacquer, clay, and glass, some are more than a century old, others are contemporary; all are carefully designed to complement the Zen-like spirit of the flower arrangements they hold.

Festival parking is available in the lot inside our main gate on North Alvernon Way and on East Justin Lane, one half block south of the Gardens. Please DO NOT park on East Hampton Place, immediately north of Yume.

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Spring Enchanted Evenings

Stroll Yume after dusk in a beguiling fairy tale during our Spring Enchanted Evenings.

Lighting your way will be the bewitching radiance of glowing lanterns. Deepening the spell, evocative recorded Japanese folk melodies will accompany you, played on the koto (the 13-stringed national instrument of Japan), the shamisen, or Japanese lute, and the shakuhachi bamboo flute.

The magic materializes Thursday, April 18 through Sunday, April 21, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm each night. Admission is $15 for adults and $5 for children three to 15.

Parking for this event is restricted to the lot inside our main gate on North Alvernon Way and to East Justin Lane, one half block south of the Gardens. Non-resident curbside parking is NOT permitted anywhere along East Hampton Place, immediately north of Yume. If you park on a residential street, please be mindful not to block our neighbors’ driveways.

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Artist Reception – “Sakura: Photography by Mark Taylor”

The pale pink sakura, or cherry blossom, is the delicate, ephemeral herald of spring in Japan. Outings to parks to stroll and picnic under blooming cherry trees and to reflect on the fleeting character of life as petals fall are especially popular with residents of the country’s heavily built-up cities.

Opening on February 9 with a reception in our Art Gallery is “Sakura: Photography by Mark Taylor.” Departing from the usual idyllic portrayals of cherry blossom season, it contrasts the fragility of flowers with the hard edge of Japan’s urban jungle.

Captured in these images is the tension and opposition visible in the sight of nature blooming amid a dense visual grid of buildings, power lines, freeways, signs, and commuter trains. Attend the artist reception from 5 to 7 pm to meet Taylor and to learn why he was inspired to use the hardscape of cities as the strong graphic background to cherry blossom time.

Because the reception is being held after business hours, Yume’s gardens and Museum will NOT be open to visitors at that time.

“Sakura” runs until May 4, and all photographs in the show are for sale.

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“The Path of the Flower”

Flower arrangements of subtle elegance known as Ikebana are for Westerners one of the most recognizable elements of Japanese heritage.

There is more to what the Japanese call “The Path of the Flower” than meets the eye, however. Flower arranging in Japan is a disciplined and meditative art form. It embodies ideals that for the Japanese govern the essence of taste and beauty, enable harmony with nature, and yield insight into how to cultivate personal tranquility amid the vagaries of human existence.

Yume Gardens Executive Director Patricia Deridder has studied and taught Ikebana flower arranging styles for more than four decades, in Japan, Europe, and the U.S. At 2:00 pm on Saturday, January 12, she will introduce the story and teachings of Ikebana from their beginnings in the 15th century, and demonstrate some of the basic arrangement methods that have emerged since, in different schools of this still evolving tradition.

This event illuminating the spirit of Ikebana and the skills to practice it is free with regular Gardens admission.