Therapeutic Walks

There is an intangible reward to strolling a Japanese garden, a deep peace inspired by turning off technology and tuning into nature and its slower rhythms. And science has proven a reduction in anxiety and depression after doing so.

Patricia Deridder of Yume Japanese Gardens has created one of only three spaces in Arizona officially deemed a Wellness Therapeutic Walk environment. This program provides an opportunity to self-guide your healing therapy with our Stroll for Well Being. Unlike a one-day shinrinryoku (forest bath exercise), it requires a commitment of at least one month and is more structured, with a workbook and an independent twice-a-week session.

Participants first meet for a 1-2 hour orientation with a professional guide, well-versed in grief counseling and alternative medicine. She demonstrates use of the workbook and the participants commit to strolling Yume twice a week for at least 50 minutes. This is an active process of self-reflection rather than a meditation, engaging with symbolic features at Yume, such as the Circle of Life.

The program fee is $150 and includes the book and special after-hours access to the Gardens. Participants must journal about positive and negative events in their lives for two weeks prior to orientation. Space is limited to 15 persons per session, so prior registration is required by emailing or by phone at (520) 272-3200. Register today to guarantee your spot.

Next Wellness Walk Orientations:

Wednesday, 1/15/2020 3:00-4:30 pm
Saturday, 1/25/2020 2:00-3:30 pm
Wednesday, 2/5/2020 3:00-4:30 pm
Saturday, 2/22/2020 2:00-3:30 pm
Wednesday, 3/4/2020 3:00-4:30 pm
Sunday, 3/22/2020 2:00-3:30 pm
Wednesday, 4/1/2020 3:00-4:30 pm
Saturday, 4/18/2020 2:00-3:30 pm
Wednesday, 4/22/2020 3:00-4:30 pm

Alternative intro sessions and times can be arranged if needed.

Payment can be made below or by check or cash.

Classes and Workshops

We present classes and workshops in a variety of longstanding Japanese popular arts. These include gift wrapping with furoshiki (colorful squares of printed cotton cloth), origami (folding paper to create three-dimensional figures without the use of glue or scissors), and Ikebana, or traditional Japanese flower arranging. Taught by Japanese instructors, or by Western teachers who have lived and studied in Japan for years, these courses not only help you acquire new skills, they give you insight into the sources of artistic creativity in Japan, and the values of discernment, refinement, harmony, and subtlety that have shaped Japanese society for millennia. Pre-registration is necessary for all classes and workshops. Please email us at to sign up for a class, to inquire about class times, fees, and locations, or for other information regarding our current and future offerings.

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 our Spring 2020 flower arranging classes. Educational and entertaining, they will acquaint you with a quintessential and cherished element of Japanese culture.

Born 550 years ago in the custom of decorating altars in Buddhist temples with flowers, Ikebana is far more than a simple expression of creativity like the Western custom of putting pretty blooms in a vase. For the Japanese it is “The Way of the Flower,” a disciplined art with deep-rooted rules and a form of meditation; its ideals embody for them the essence of taste, beauty, and oneness with nature.

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.

You can learn the most basic of flower arranging methods in a single class. But the Japanese do not pursue Ikebana to gain expertise. They practice it to attain a serene sensitivity to the subtle undercurrents of nature and life.

With this in mind, we suggest that you take more than one class, because multiple lessons not only reinforce your skills, they also intensify your experience of the spirit of Ikebana. This enables you to better cultivate the discipline’s benefits, including inner stillness and harmony.

All classes require prior registration. Email for information or to register. Fees are payable in class, in cash or by check in the name of the teacher, and do not include admission to the Gardens.

Each class costs $30 ($25 for members of Yume) and includes materials. Please bring a bucket, kenzan (frog), shears, towel, and a bowl or vase.

Ikenobo Ikebana class schedule
Shoka style – New Year’s arrangement
Sunday, January 12 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Tuesday, January 14 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm and 5:00 to 7:00 pm
Sunday February 9 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Tuesday February 11 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm and 5:00 to 7:00 pm
Sunday March 15 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Tuesday March 17  10:00 am – 12:00 pm
                                  and 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Sunday April 5         10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Tuesday April 7       10:00 am – 12:00 pm
                                  and 5:00 – 7:00 pm