Worth a Visit: Anderson Japanese Gardens in Illinois

Anderson Japanese Gardens, Illinois© 2009 Apple River Canyon Photography//Shannon BackeThe Spring Gate takes visitors to a tranquil world of waterfalls, ponds, sculpture, and the most eye-pleasing plantings imaginable.

318 Spring Creek Rd., Rockford

Long in love with Japan and its culture, businessman John Anderson was inspired to express his affection botanically after touring a Japanese garden in Portland, Oregon. So he and wife, Linda, hired its director of landscaping, Hochi Kurisu, to create a place in Rockford where visitors can find peace, tranquillity, and inspiration.

A formal Japanese garden complete with teahouse shares space with the Garden of Reflection, a contemporary international garden with a strong Japanese influence. In the shadow of a five-story-high waterfall, visitors watch colorful koi ply the plant-lined streams. When birds flock into Rockford during migration season, birdsong fills the air as the winged arrivals settle at the 12 acres for an extended stay.

Open year-round except major winter holidays. Admission charged.

(815) 229-9390

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