Do you want to get away from it all, relax and find peace amidst the chaos? There’s a place in Illinois where you can walk among tumbling waterfalls, witness the magic of blooming gardens, experience the peacefulness of koi ponds and sip warm tea at a 16th century Sukiya-style teahouse. This flawless retreat is the Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford.
A stroll through the tranquil Anderson Japanese Gardens will take you on a journey across the globe and rejuvenate your mind. It’s a place unlike any other in the United States. In fact, the Anderson Japanese Gardens is one of the most authentic Japanese Gardens outside of Japan.
The mastermind behind the special place is John Anderson. After graduating college, John traveled throughout Japan with a close friend and was inspired by the unique Japanese culture. After returning to the United States, John purchased land and moved to a new home. The Spring Creek ran through his land, making it swampy terrain. Where some would see this as unusable land, John saw its potential for Japanese-style landscape.
After visiting the Portland Japanese Garden on a business trip, John contacted the garden’s designer, Hoichi Kurisu. The two set to work to build what is now the Anderson Japanese Gardens. Almost 40 years later, the Rockford retreat has transformed from John’s passion to an absolutely beautiful hideaway for visitors to enjoy.
You can discover this gem during primary season, from May 1 to October 31. Embark on a guided or self-guided tour. Enjoy yoga sessions. Experience ‘Mindful Meditation.’ Or, learn the Japanese language. Whatever your interests may be, the Anderson Japanese Gardens will introduce you to a new culture and leave you feeling refreshed and restored.
–The Illinois Office of Tourism