SEATTLE — The Seattle Japanese Garden in Seattle's Madison Park neighborhood is a 3.5-acre urban oasis.

The Senior Gardener, Peter Putnicki, is responsible for assuring that the garden is always in tip-top shape. "Every little detail counts -- everything you're doing in here. Even if it's the smallest simple project."

Guests are invited to stroll along a winding path, take photos, and take in all the natural beauty. It's a very tranquil spot right outside the hustle and bustle of the big city.

"The idea of presence here is something that you really get to experience that's hard to experience anywhere else."

It is said to be one of the most highly regarded Japanese-style gardens in North America. There is something for everyone to enjoy -- from the coy fish-filled central pond to the complexity of the garden's composition to the horticulture to the changing leaves in the fall.

Born in Japan, Juki Iida came to Seattle and founded the Seattle Japanese Garden in 1959. "He was here on site selecting the plant materials, selecting the rocks and guiding every bit of the construction of this garden."

Subtle changes are constant, but as the cold weather hits, the area bursts with color. Leaves of the once green maple trees become reds, oranges, and yellows.

Space allows guests to feel relaxed, refreshed and reflective.

"Leave your worries, your concerns, your presuppositions, and let this place be where you're putting your attention for as long as you're visiting."

The Seattle Japanese Garden is holding its annual Maple Festival through Oct. 13. Kids under 12 get in FREE on Oct. 12 from 10 am to 12 pm.

Seattle Japanese Garden | 1075 Lake Washington Blvd E. Seattle, Washington 98112

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