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When I started creating my HDSereneScapes® films, one of the projects I had in mind was to make a film of the peaceful calming Zen-like experience that can be found in well designed Japanese Gardens. It seemed to me that I would most likely have to travel to Japan for an extended time to search out the ageless private and temple gardens though out the island nation.

Someday I still hope to make that trip, but to my pleasant surprise, I discovered a place right here in the Pacific Northwest of the United States that looked to have much of what I believed would fulfill my vision for one of my HDSereneScapes® films.

The Portland Japanese Garden is a five and a half acre facility that overlooks the city of Portland, Oregon. Located in the Mount Washington Park area, it was built in the 1960s in conjunction with Portland’s sister City of Sapporo, Japan. It was designed by Professor Takuma Tono, a renowned designer of Japanese Gardens.

The Japanese Garden Society of Oregon runs the facility as a non-profit funded entirely by donations, membership, gate admissions, a retail store and grants. They lease the property from the City of Portland and the facility hosts over 300,000 visitors a year. Guests come to view the peaceful settings, the spectacular beauty of waterfalls as well as Coy ponds, walking bridges, sand and stone gardens, pagoda lanterns, bamboo and stone water features and a Tea House. There is a pavilion which exhibits cultural events, holiday celebrations, workshops and art exhibits.

In taking a stroll through the facility you find all five of the major types of Japanese Gardens — the Flat Garden, the Strolling Pond Garden, The Tea Garden, the Natural Garden and the Sand and Stone Garden.

Professor Tono stated:

“A Japanese Garden is not only a place for the cultivation of trees and flowering shrubs, but one that provides secluded leisure, rest, repose, meditation, and sentimental pleasure… The Garden speaks to all the senses, not just to the mind alone.”

The Portland Japanese Garden does that and more.

After contacting the staff and going though a series of discussions with them about what I wanted to do and the way I shoot my films, my wife Marsha and I traveled last summer to Portland to visit the gardens in person and evaluate a way we could create an HDSereneScapes® film to add to our current collection, but also provide the Garden with the use of our footage for their needs as well.

By October we drove back up to Portland with all our gear and planned to shoot the gardens while the colors turned from summer green to illuminating fall colors. With climate change affecting weather conditions all around the planet, we ended up flying home after the initial days of shooting and then returning to capture the fall foliage that was delayed a few weeks. When you enjoy this film, I think you’ll agree it was worth the wait.

We built a wonderful relationship with the Executive staff as well as the gardening and marketing people who maintain and promote this amazing place. It was a pleasure to work with all concerned and I feel the results show in my new film, “Portland Japanese Garden” that is now available for a 7 day free trial when you subscribe for just $4.99 a month with either an ambient audio soundtrack or with the calming music of Steven Halpern whose music I have used for many of my other films.

I can’t thank the staff enough for their patience and caring, both for the garden and the people who visit this wonderful place.

Perhaps sometime in the future I may be able to go back up to capture the gardens in their winter and spring transformation for another film. In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy this amazing place in “Natural 3D Motion” whenever you wish.


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