Hermann Park’s Japanese Garden, a cultural treasure, serves as a tranquil retreat in our bustling City. Designed by world-renowned Japanese landscape architect Ken Nakajima, the Garden was built to symbolize the friendship between Japan and the United States and to recognize Houston’s thriving Japanese community. Hermann Park Conservancy has been proud to collaborate with the Japanese Garden Advisory Committee, founded in 2007, to maintain and improve this space. Under the direction of a design and landscape team from Japan, we work together on their annual visits to maintain the integrity of the Japanese concepts.

Led by Japanese expert gardener Hiroshi Iwasaki, the team from Japan annually visits the Japanese Garden to implement the original concepts of its lead designer, Mr. Nakajima. They serve as guides for major improvement projects in the Garden and give direction to the Park’s gardeners for its continuous upkeep. The team has made these regular trips to Hermann Park since 2007 when it was then run by renowned landscape architect Terunobu Nakai, a colleague of Mr. Iwasaki’s, until his death in 2011.

After celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Japanese Garden in 2022, it became clear that we must do more to further the conservation and advancement efforts within this beloved space. The Conservancy, the Japanese Garden Advisory Committee and the City of Houston have been putting together a list of major improvements necessary to help the aging Garden. Please check back soon for more information on those efforts!

Join the Yotsuba Circle 

Launched in 2023, the Yotsuba Circle is a group of patrons dedicated to Hermann Park’s Japanese Garden. Yotsuba, the Japanese word for “four leaf,” was chosen as the group’s name as each leaf represents an entity integral to the Garden: the community who initiated its creation and continued care, the sister cities of Chiba in Japan and the City of Houston and Hermann Park Conservancy. The annual patronage of Yotsuba Circle members helps to fund the resources needed to ensure proper and traditional care of the Japanese Garden.

Yotsuba Circle Annual Levels and Benefits

$25,000 – Matsu (Pine)
All benefits below, plus:

  • Ability to host a private event in the Japanese
  • GardenExclusive invitation for a dinner with the Consul General of Japan

$10,000 – Fuji (Wisteria)
All benefits below, plus:

  • Invitation to a special reception at a private home hosted by a fellow Yotsuba Circle patron
  • Unique Japanese Garden gift

$5,000 – Tsutsuji (Azalea)
All benefits below, plus:

  • Annual recognition on-site in the Japanese Garden
  • Reserved parking at the annual Japan Festival hosted in Hermann Park

$2,500 – Take (Bamboo)

  • Invitation to a special reception in the Japanese Garden with the opportunity to meet and visit with the team from Japan
  • Yotsuba Circle exclusive volunteer days, twice annually
  • Special Japanese Garden communication and updates through the year
  • Recognition on the Conservancy’s website as part of the Yotsuba Circle
  • Recognition in Parkside newsletters and the Conservancy annual report
  • General Conservancy membership benefits at the Gold level

Click here to join the Yotsuba Circle.

Click here to download a form to join the Yotsuba Circle.

Click here to view and print a copy of Yotsuba Circle benefits.

For questions or more information about the Yotsuba Circle, please email Meghan Miller at mmiller@hermannpark.org

Support the Japanese Garden

If interested in supporting the Japanese Garden in a different manner, click here to make a donation to the care and maintenance of this special place. You will be recognized as a Friend of the Japanese Garden for your contribution.