2018 Waza to Kokoro Seminar Applications Now Open!


In 2018, Portland Japanese Garden is honored to offer Beginner and Intermediate level Waza to Kokoro: Hands and Heart seminars. These 12-day, hands-on seminars are designed to serve professionals in garden design, construction, and maintenance.

Each seminar is taught by visiting Japanese instructors and Portland Japanese Garden staff. A traditional, hands-on learning process focusing on stonework is supplemented with preparatory theoretical and practical instruction in topics including garden design, traditional tool use, and the culture of tea.

The seminars immerse learners in not just the techniques but the cultural heart of the Japanese garden. Admission is open to staff of Japanese gardens, landscape design and construction professionals, and students of landscape disciplines.

A traditionally-grounded, hands-on learning process is supplemented with preparatory theoretical instruction, with content including:

  • History and aesthetics
  • Design
  • Garden clinic
  • Demonstration and practice with traditional Japanese tools and bamboo fence construction
  • Preparatory lectures for hands-on workshop
  • Hands-on workshop for designing, selecting materials for and building the stone elements of a tea garden
  • Pruning master class
  • Instruction in tea ceremony
  • Food culture discussions



Click here for more information and to register >>

Seminar Dates:
Intermediate level: July 19 – 30, 2018
Beginner level: September 20 – 27, 2018

Application deadline:
March 31, 2018

2018 Waza to Kokoro Poster >>
An Illustrated Report of the 2017 Seminar >>
Beginner Level Seminar Information Packet >>
Beginner Level Seminar Application Forms >>
Intermediate Level Seminar Information Packet >>
Intermediate Level Seminar Application Forms >>


About the International Japanese Garden Training Center
The International Japanese Garden Training Center is a new educational initiative of the Portland Japanese Garden. We seek to provide a place in North America for learning the skills and techniques for creating and stewarding Japanese gardens while acquainting students with the cultural heart and soul of Japanese garden arts.

The Center employs an educational model drawing from both Eastern and Western traditions. This includes traditional Japanese hands-on learning methods combined with lectures, experiential cultural instruction, visual arts instruction and other classroom activities – providing learners with an immersive educational experience.

Waza to Kokoro (Hands and Heart) is the Center’s flagship program. It is a certificate program consisting of three intensive training seminars, combining hands-on technical learning with cultural instruction and theoretical knowledge. Waza to Kokoro is designed to realistically help Japanese gardens serving communities across the country meet the need to find authentic, locally-appropriate solutions in design, construction, maintenance, and preservation.

The Center is funded by the Japan Foundation’s Center for Global Partnership.


About Portland Japanese Garden
When His Excellency Nobuo Matsunaga, the former Ambassador of Japan to the United States, visited the Portland Japanese Garden, he proclaimed it to be “the most beautiful and authentic Japanese garden in the world outside of Japan.”

The Garden sits nestled in the West Hills of Portland, Oregon overlooking the city and providing a tranquil, urban oasis for locals and travelers alike. Designed in 1963, it encompasses 12 acres with eight separate garden styles, and includes an authentic Japanese Tea House, meandering streams, intimate walkways, and a spectacular view of Mt. Hood. This is a place to discard worldly thoughts and concerns and see oneself as a small but integral part of the universe.

Born out of a hope that the experience of peace can contribute to a long lasting peace. Born out of a belief in the power of cultural exchange. Born out of a belief in the excellence of craft, evidence in the Garden itself and the activities that come from it. Born out of a realization that all of these things are made more real and possible if we honor our connection to nature.


Cover image courtesy Portland Japanese Garden/Jonathan Ley.