A Stroll Through Anderson Japanese Gardens

A sense of serenity came over me as I strolled the paths of Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford, Illinois. Walking through landscapes of meticulously manicured trees and flowing water, relaxation replaced my stress. What is it about a Japanese garden that differs from other gardens? Why does it feel tranquil? It’s because each element—every rock, every plant, every pond— is carefully placed to inspire calm and renewal.

I’ve felt that that sense of tranquility in every Japanese garden I’ve visited. However, it was intensified at Anderson Japanese Gardens because of the garden’s size and extensive use of water. The garden’s twelve acres includes two large ponds, a creek that winds through the property, and a tall waterfall.

Anderson Japanese Gardens - Entrance

History of Anderson Japanese Gardens

Inspired by gardens he saw in Japan during business trips, and further inspired by the Portland Japanese Garden, Rockford businessman John Anderson decided to create his own Japanese garden. He hired Hoichi Kurisu, the same designer who designed the Portland Japanese Garden. According to Mr. Kurisu’s website, his company harmonizes “…light and shade, water and rock, and space with the senses…to restore peace of mind, physical health, and strong and compassionate communities.”

Garden construction began in 1978. In 1998 John Anderson and his wife Linda donated the gardens to the Rockford Rotary Charitable Association. Anderson Japanese Gardens is now a not-for-profit entity.

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Anderson Japanese Gardens photo gallery

Following is a sampling of the photos we took during our visit to Anderson Japan Gardens.

Anderson Japanese Gardens - Bridge to Gardens
Bridge to Gardens
Anderson Japanese Gardens - Entrance to gardens
Entrance to Gardens
Anderson Japanese Gardens - Angels

Anderson Japanese Gardens - Falls and GazeboAnderson Japanese Gardens - Falls and Pool

Anderson Japanese Gardens - Tea Room Exterior
Tea House
Inside the Tea House

Anderson Japanese Gardens - Garden BridgeAnderson Japanese Gardens - Bridge and Island

Anderson Japanese Gardens - Falls

Anderson Japanese Gardens - Skip
Skip enjoying the tranquility

If you visit Anderson Japanese Gardens

Anderson Japanese Gardens is located at 318 Spring Creek Road in Rockford, Illinois. Gardens are open to the public from late April through late October. Check the website for exact dates, hours, admission rates, and other details.


Check Rockford accommodations rates here.

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Anderson Japanese Garden


Disclosures: The Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau hosted our visit to the Rockford area. Our admission to Anderson Japanese Gardens was complimentary. However, any opinions expressed in this article are my own.
This article contains an affiliate link. If you book a room through the “Check Rockford accommodations rates here” link above, I will receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you.

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Weekend Wanderlust

6 thoughts on “A Stroll Through Anderson Japanese Gardens

  • July 26, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Anderson Japanese Gardens really is a beautiful place. This is in my hometown and I have yet to write a post about it. (I’m going to have to fix that! LOL) There is also a unique restaurant there where you can dine on delicious cuisine (organic and locally sources when possible) while overlooking part of the gardens. It’s a gorgeous view.

    • July 26, 2017 at 5:19 pm

      Isn’t it funny how we don’t write about the places closest to us? The restaurant at Anderson Japanese Gardens sounds great.

  • August 4, 2017 at 9:31 am

    How cool! And so super close

    • August 4, 2017 at 5:54 pm

      You should absolutely check it out. Anderson Japanese Gardens is gorgeous!

    • August 6, 2017 at 10:27 am

      Yes, Anderson Japanese Gardens really is beautiful–and tranquil.


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