Quite a surprise to find in South Florida, possibly the most extensive Japanese Gardens outside Japan.
The Morikami Museum and Gardens in Boca Raton opened in 1977, but its history goes back to the early 1900′s when a group of farmers came across from Japan with the aim of establishing a colony here. Sadly, it was unsuccessful and only a few people stayed on, one being George Sukeji Morikami who donated his land in the 1970′s to create a park in memory of the colony.
Visitors can enjoy exploring the different gardens arranged around the lakes and waterfalls, planted with both native and oriental species, along with exhibitions on Japanese art, culture and history, along with a garden of bonsai trees. The lake is full of koi fish and turtles, which jostle with each other.
Inside the entrance pavilion, the Museum currently has two fascinating exhibitions, the first being the work of 16 contemporary artists who are active in the field of Japanese Lacquer Sculpture who show how the boundaries of this traditional material can be stretched and twisted while, in the second exhibition, Jananese artist Sayaka Ganz creates fast-moving animals using reclaimed plastic objects of the sort that can be found in most households and is frequently discarded without a thought.