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 and 7, at 1:00 pm. The ceremonies are not intended for children under the age of 15.

(All our Winter/Spring tea ceremonies have sold out. Check for new dates when we reopen for Fall 2019 on October 1.)

Advance reservation and ticket purchase is required; please RSVP to with your name, telephone number, and the number in your party. Tickets are $15 per person and non-refundable; you may purchase them on online by clicking on “Events” at the top of any page of this website. A drop-down menu will appear; click on “Buy Tickets” and follow the instructions you see.

If you must later cancel your attendance, notify us promptly by email, so that we may accommodate others who wish to participate.

Whether you obtain your ticket online or purchase it in person, you will also be charged applicable admission to the Gardens 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.


Children’s Day Festival

Junior taiko drummers pounding out rhythms, colorful carp-shaped banners fluttering in the breeze, laughing children costumed shoulder to ankle in yukatas with flowing sleeves, assembling bento boxes with clever compartments for their school lunches, folding paper into flowers and cranes with flapping wings, and trying their hands at calligraphy and traditional Japanese games played with cards and chopsticks . . . .

It can only be the 2019 Children’s Day Festival at Yume, on Saturday, March 9, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

An annual national holiday in Japan since 1948, Children’s Day customarily takes place on May 5. To beat Tucson’s May heat, we’re holding our festival early. But its aim is the same: to wish for the continued well-being of youngsters and to respect and celebrate their strengths and personalities.

Bring your children or grandchildren – or your nephews and nieces or even a neighbor’s child of your acquaintance – to Yume for an out-of-the-ordinary day in their young lives. They’ll feel special, and they’ll enjoy nature in the Gardens, the bright traditional Japanese decorations and dress, the non-stop play and craft activities, and the savory traditional Japanese snacks and foods available for purchase from a food truck to keep up their youthful energy. Admission is $15 for adults and $5 for children ages 3 – 15.

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.


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.


Spring Moon Flute Concert

The shakuhachi – Japan’s traditional bamboo flute – lends an especially haunting note to the melodies played on it, and even more so after dark when a bright moon gleams in the sky.

Paul Amiel, former music director of Tucson’s Rogue Theater, has long been an avid collector and player of ethnic musical instruments, including the shakuhachi. While living in Japan in 2006 and 2007, he studied under Lida Katsutoshi in Nagoya, learning how to play an instrument on which sound is shaped by silence as much as by breath, following a Zen concept of emptiness. Since 2014 he has taught the instrument’s traditional repertoire at the Empty Mountain Shakuhachi Circle in Tucson. He also frequently performs music of the Balkans and the Aegean with his own ensemble, Kyklo.

Celebrate spring’s first night by gathering with Paul beside Yume’s koi pond at 6:30 pm on March 21, and hear him play meditative Zen melodies by the glow of the lingering full moon of the evening before.

To guarantee your space at this limited-seating special event, advance payment of a non-refundable admission fee of $18 is required. You may purchase your ticket in person at our offices at 2130 N. Alvernon Way, Tucson, AZ 85712 or by mail. To buy tickets on line, click on “Events” in the menu bar at the top of any page in our website. In the drop-down menu that then opens click on “Buy Tickets” and follow the purchasing instructions.

If you must later cancel your reservation, notify us as soon as possible, so that we may accommodate others who wish to attend.

Please park for the concert either in the lot behind our main gate on North Alvernon Way, or on East Justin Lane, one half block south of Yume, being careful not to block our neighbors’ driveways. Note that non-resident curbside parking is NOT permitted on East Hampton Place, on the north side of the Gardens.


Japanese Archery Ceremony

Shooting the Japanese bamboo bow was once a battlefield skill of samurai. Today kyu, “the Way of the Bow,” is a character-building art, a form of self-development that teaches the archer to cultivate technical precision, a clear mind, and freedom from distractions and fear.

Members of Tucson’s Arizona Kyudo Kai will draw their nearly eight-foot-long bows at Yume and let shafts fly from 1:00 to 3:00 pm on March 31. They’ll also explain the ceremonial etiquette, traditional dress, and shooting procedures and stances that make Japanese archery a discipline for both body and mind, simultaneously competitive and meditative.

As an arrow feels the pull of the earth, you’ll feel the pull of kyu at this exceptional event. Admission is $15 for adults and $5 for children ages three to 15, and includes Gardens entry. Free for Yume members.


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 Friday, April 26 through Sunday, April 28, 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.


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 through Friday, March 1. 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.


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.


“The Way 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 Way 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.