Fifth Anniversary Celebration

Yume turns five years old in 2018, and we’re throwing a party!

Visit the Gardens on January 13 for a full day of festivities, including demonstrations of Ikebana, or traditional Japanese flower arranging, and of origami, the Japanese art of folding paper to create three-dimensional figures. Musical perfeomances will range from traditional melodies played on shakuhachi (bamboo flute) to a recital of Japanese folk songs and thunderous taiko drumming by Odaiko Sonora, southern Arizona’s premier Japanese drumming ensemble. Japanese food will also be available for purchase.

The fun begins at 10:00 am and continues to 4:30 pm. Admission is $15 for adults and $7 for children under 15. You can buy tickets at the door, or by calling (520) 272-3200. You may also purchase tickets on line: click on “Events” on the homepage of this website and then click on “Buy Tickets.” All tickets are non-refundable.

As a courtesy to our neighbors, please avoid parking on East Hampton Place (the street bounding the north side of the Gardens), so as not to disrupt local traffic.

Wrap Gifts Japanese Style

The Japanese have traditionally used squares of fabric called furoshiki to bundle clothes at public baths and carry purchases. They still use furoshiki  to wrap presents and lend gifts a special flair. Just in time for the holidays, you can learn to do the same.

Join our gift-wrapping workshop on December 8, from 3:00 to 4:30 pm. The class fee is $25, and does not include entry to the Gardens.

Reservations are required. Notify us at or call (520) 272-3200 to say you’ll attend.

Learn Ikebana!

If you have marveled at the floral arrangements in our Ikebana exhibitions and wished that you could make such striking displays for your home or as gifts for family and friends, consider enrolling in one of our flower arranging classes. They are educational, entertaining, and will acquaint you with a quintessential and cherished element of Japanese culture.

Ikebana originated in the 7th century, under the influence of Buddhist priests, and is much more than a simple expression of creativity like the Western custom of putting pretty flowers in a vase. A disciplined and meditative art form with deep-rooted rules, it bestows special benefits on those who practice it: inner peace, and harmony with nature, both while creating an arrangement and when contemplating it later.

As a living tradition, Ikebana has evolved into a number of major schools over the centuries. We offer two-hour classes by certified instructors trained in Japan in the techniques of the Ikenobo and Sogetsu schools. Ikenobo is the oldest school and emerged in the 1550s. It specializes in a time-honored classical manner of arrangement. Sogetsu developed in 1926 and makes use of a wider range of plant and other materials to achieve a style that is more fluid and free-form.

There is a $25 instruction and floral materials fee for Ikenobo classes; Sogetsu classes cost $35. Fees do not include entry to the Gardens, and are payable to the instructor by check or cash in class. Advance registration is required: please email specifying which class(es) or sessions(s) you wish to attend.

The Ikenobo School classes on December 5 and 10 include instruction in making a traditional Japanese New Year’s arrangement.

Sogetsu School Classes: 
SEPTEMBER 15  Two sessions: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and 1:00 – 3:00 pm
OCTOBER 15  Two sessions: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and 1:00 – 3:00 pm
NOVEMBER 19  Two sessions: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and 1:00 – 3:00 pm
JANUARY 8   Two sessions: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm.
Ikenobo School Classes:
OCTOBER 17  6:00 – 8:00 pm
OCTOBER 22  10:00 am – 12:00 pm
NOVEMBER 12  10:00 am – 12:00 pm
NOVEMBER 14  6:00 – 8:00 pm
DECEMBER 5  6:00 – 8:00 pm
DECEMBER 10  10:00 am – 12:00 pm
JANUARY 21  10:00 am – 12:00pm
JANUARY 23  6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Enlightened Heart: Fire-engraved Wood Sculpture by Ping Wei

Borrowing from a vast store of East Asian poetry, legends, and spiritual and philosophical traditions, ceramicist and Ikebana master Ping Wei of Phoenix, Arizona uses wood-burning tools to meticulously fire-engrave wood tablets and sculpture of his own design with calligraphy and other images that evoke the theme of the “Enlightened Heart.”

For a preview of Ping Wei’s exhibition and a chance to discuss with him his sources of inspiration, join us at a free artist reception in our Art Gallery on October 15, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.

Then return as often as you like to visit the show, which opens October 16 and runs through December. Viewing hours are Sunday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Tuesday through Saturday, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. The exhibition is closed Mondays, Thanksgiving Day, and December 24, 25, and 31. Entrance is free with regular Gardens admission, and all items are for sale, tax free.

Fall Ikebana Floral Festival

Every autumn, we throw open the doors of Yume Japanese Gardens for a week to the talented adepts of five different schools of Ikebana practice. The result: elegant floral displays throughout our grounds, museum, and art gallery that capture the harmony, discipline, and refinement of traditional Japanese flower arranging.

Our Fall Ikebana Floral Festival has always been among our most-appreciated events, so this year we are extending it for five days. Enjoy 50 signature compositions highlighting the wide breadth of styles in one of Japan’s most cherished art forms. Entry to the festival and all Gardens precincts is $15 for adults and $5 for children under 15.  November 21 – 22 and 24 – 26 (closed Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23).

Between Folds: Origami Classical And Modern

Cleverly transforming a flat square of paper into three-dimensional sculpture through folding and without the use of scissors or glue is a beloved pastime in Japan among both children and adults, and dates from the Edo period (1603–1867).

Such paper folding – called origami – produces creations as wide-ranging as a person’s imagination. Enthusiasts make animals, from horses to rabbits; sea creatures, from whales to seahorses; insects, from crickets to butterflies; trees and flower blossoms; figures of geisha and samurai; and even action figures, such as cranes with movable wings.

“Between Folds: Origami Classical and Modern” features ingenious folded paper forms by origami artist M. Craig. Raised in Japan and America, “M, as she calls herself, holds a degree in Fine Arts and is co-founder of the Tucson Origami Club and has taught Japanese paper-folding techniques throughout the Tucson region since 1996. She has also exhibited at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and the Tucson Botanical Gardens.

Our exhibition runs October 1 through December 31, and entrance is free with regular Gardens admission. Also of interest: a parallel exhibition of larger-than-life metal origami sculptures – “Origami in the Garden 2” – at the nearby Tucson Botanical Gardens until April 1, 2018.

Mingei: Old Japan on Hand

The human touch in folk crafts in Japan was largely brushed aside by the country’s rapid modernization in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In response, there has arisen a folk art preservation movement called mingei.  It focuses on the beauty in objects created by average people that are practical and used in daily life.

Our new museum gallery and its permanent exposition, “Mingei: Old Japan on Hand,” shows the movement to be a distinctly Japanese appreciation of the traditional. Mingei challenges narrow definitions of art by focusing on utilitarian items made by their everyday users, rather than on refined works from professional artists.

The collection includes objects spanning more than 200 years. Among them are a straw barrel and porcelain cups to store and drink Japanese rice wine, or sake, and brushes tipped with deer, horse, rabbit, or squirrel hair to draw calligraphy and make ink-wash paintings. You’ll find garments, too – kimonos and obi sashes – as well as a rustic iron hearth and traditional hasami, or sewing scissors, forged by an ironmonger from a single piece of steel and reflecting the skills of sword makers applied to a household item.

With “Mingei: Old Japan on Hand,” we celebrate nameless creators who used materials as common as themselves – stone, ceramics, textiles, paper, bamboo, lacquer, and wood – to make functional things that are humble, but nonetheless of value, because they preserve the sense of the personal in an era of mass production.

Enchanted Evening Strolls

Venture into the Gardens after dusk and immerse yourself in the bewitching glow of candle- and lantern light, accompanied by evocative recorded traditional Japanese melodies played on bamboo flute, the koto (the 13-stringed national instrument of Japan), and the shamisen, or Japanese lute.

You can stroll our paths from 7:00 to 8:30 pm November 10 to 12, in search of haunting perceptions of a landscape that you can sense, but not readily see. The admission cost of $10 for adults and $5 for children entitles you to enter the entire area of the Gardens. Come, and be beguiled!

The Spirit of Ikebana

The discipline and pleasures of traditional Japanese flower arranging may appeal to you, but you may have hesitated to enroll in one of our Ikebana workshops for actual instruction.

Now you can get your feet wet by delving into the history and philosophy of Ikebana with this presentation, and then watch a demonstration of basic arrangement principles by Patricia Deridder, founder and executive director of Yume Japanese Gardens. Drawing on 45 years of learning and teaching the tradition in both Japan and the U.S., and on a life-long pursuit of its meditative Zen ethos, she will illustrate techniques used by masters of the Ikenobo school of Ikebana in the most classical form of the art, dating back 550 years.

Join Patricia for this introduction to one of Japan’s most distinctive cultural hallmarks on October 13, from 10:00 to 11:30 am. The cost is $10, and does not include Gardens admission.

Tea Ceremony

Take part in one of Japan’s signature rituals on Saturday, October 28, and see why refinement and subtlety are by-words in Japanese culture. In traditional kimono and following canons of etiquette established nearly 1,000 years ago, a master of “The Way of Tea”  will prepare and serve you a cup of matcha, or powdered green tea, and a traditional Japanese sweet to nibble. The elegant art of the ceremony, the reverence with which it is performed, and the emotional effect it produces will leave a deep and lasting impression on you.

The ceremony will be held between 4:30 and 5:30 pm. Because this is among our most popular events at Yume, advance reservations are required to attend. Please RSVP by October 24 to, with your name, telephone number, and the number in your party. The cost is $15 per person, plus regular Gardens admission. Members of Yume Japanese Gardens pay only the ceremony attendance fee. If you must later cancel your reservation, please notify us as soon as possible, so that we may accommodate others who wish to participate. Not intended for children under 15.