Seattle Japanese Garden 50th Anniversary Celebration

To celebrate its 50th birthday, the Seattle Japanese Garden is opening its shrub-flanked gates for free today. Though planning began in the ’30s, and World War II then awkwardly intervened, it wasn’t until 1960 when Yuki Iida, of the Tokyo Metropolitan Park Department, could implement the design. (Tokyo also donated the original teahouse, since rebuilt.) Nestled within the UW’s Washington Park Arboretum, the 3.5-acre city-run garden has become a calm green retreat for Seattleites of all ages. Inside, Japanese maples, gingko, and bamboo mix with local varieties of rhododendrons, azaleas, and cedar. Cultural and historical presentations will also be accompanied by traditional Japanese entertainment. Or you can just walk the relaxing paths and contemplate the blossoms. PARISA SADRZADEH

Sun., June 6, 11 a.m.-8 p.m., 2010

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