The Japanese Garden
A zen oasis in the middle of The Valley.
When I first moved to LA, I think I visited The Valley maybe...3 times in the first 3 years? Since then, I've met my boyfriend (who lives and grew up in The Valley) and I've somewhat have moved in with him. I decided that since I'm here for the next 2 month, while we wait for his lease to end, I might as well explore this part of LA that I've left untapped all these years.
The Japanese Garden is hidden away in Van Nuys. So hidden, in fact, that when you're driving down Woodley, you almost don't believe that there could be anything like this in this vicinity. The only way I knew this place existed was because I saw a post on one of the LA Instagram accounts that I follow. Admission to the park is $5, which is quite the steal and parking is free.
Of all the Japanese Gardens I've visited, this is the first one I've been to that incorporates a water reclamation plant along side it. I think because of that, it makes the air feel more humid, and since I was visiting on one of the hottest days this summer, I truly felt that I was back in Japan.
The facility purifies 80 million gallons of waste a day, producing 26 million gallons of recycled water. According to their website, the "garden's purpose was to demonstrate a positive use of reclaimed water in what is generally agreed to be a delicate environment, a Japanese Garden".
The plant itself gives the garden a dichotomy of traditional and futurist. If you ever watched "Star Trek: The Next Generation", like I used to, you might find the scenery a bit familiar as it was used for various planets and the Starfleet Academy.
I really enjoyed spending my day off here. Sometimes with the hustle and bustle of daily life, it's nice to find a place to sit, relax, and regroup. We've been programmed to go go go, that we often neglect the necessity of recharging oneself.
If you're in the area, or if you just need to decompress and have a little quiet time, I would recommend visiting this place. You get a little noise from the Van Nuys Airport, but the garden wasn't oversaturated with people so you could definitely find yourself a little corner to sit and reflect.
The Japanese Garden
6100 Woodley Avenue
Van Nuys, CA 91406