Took me 4 years to discover this place, but I’m so happy I did. For those of you who go to UCLA or live around that area, The Japanese Garden (yes, it’s actually called that) in Van Nuys is just 10 miles away. I visited on a Saturday afternoon and was surprised to find how uncrowded this place was. The garden here is so beautiful and for an entry fee of $5, I’d say a visit here is completely worth it. Never thought I would find a place like this so close to the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s definitely a refreshing change of scenery. So much GREEN everywhere–you almost forget that we’re still in a drought.
The gardens here have been maintained so well, and the ponds are filled with beautiful water lilies, fish, and ducks. I loved the mini waterfalls scattered throughout the park. And the bridges–which are perfect for photo ops! It took us around an hour to get through the park (it’s a big loop and you can follow the trail all the way around). If you decide to have drinks/snacks at the teahouse, you should probably budget an additional half hour. We just didn’t want to pay extra for the tea (you pay before you enter the garden).
Highly recommend paying this place a visit if you haven’t already. It’s a wonderful escape from the city. I can’t say that I know what a Japanese garden is supposed to look like, but you definitely won’t feel like you’re in CA.