Things to Do

Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden Opens in April

Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden opens for the season next month, and it’s the perfect place to unwind and look for signs of the budding season.

By Katie Pollock Estes and Adesyn Shelton

Apr 2023

Koi fish in water
Photo courtesy ShutterstockLook for Koi in the Koi lake and critters nearby.

Spring showers might bring May flowers, but you don’t need to wait until May to enjoy one of the city’s most beautiful gardens. The Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden reopens for the season this month, and with it history, culture and beauty returns with it. The garden is a part of Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park and is the oldest attraction of the Botanical Gardens.

This year, be sure to check out the Azumaya located just outside of the gate by the ticket office before stepping into the garden. The Azumaya is a traditional Japanese gazebo and waterwheel built entirely from wood and Japanese hand tools. This one was a gift from our sister city Isesaki, Japan, and was relocated from the government plaza. The Public Information Administrator for the Springfield-Greene County Park Board Jenny Fillmer Edwards believes the relocation will allow everyone to better admire its beauty and significance. “What makes the park special is the relationships that make it happen,” she says. “It’s not just a garden we built on our own, it was built in close consultation with our friends in Isesaki.” Edwards also recommends viewing the 3D wall art during your visit by Rodo Padilla, one of Mexico’s most recognized ceramic sculptors, that was unveiled last fall.

After checking out the new additions, immerse yourself in the timeless tranquility of the Stroll Garden. The Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden hosts annual events and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Few places in Springfield feel more serene and peaceful than Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden, and that’s especially true in the springtime when the trees and flowers start to bloom and there are bright green buds and fresh grass everywhere. In addition to the gorgeous and beautifully maintained Japanese landscaping throughout, here are a few of our favorite little corners of the park.

The Tea House

This darling building is a cool respite from the warm sun. Sit inside for a bit and listen to the wind rustling the plants and the water rippling outside. 

The Moon Bridge

Is this the cutest spot to have your kids pose for a little picture? It might be! The bridge itself is beautiful, but it’s the plants around that we love so much. So picturesque.

The Amphitheater

We love the stone amphitheater and the wide expanse of grass around it. It’s a great place to stop for a little snack or a sip of water before you continue down the trail, and there’s lots of room for your kids to run.

The Koi Lake

Walking around this lake feels like meditation. It’s just so calming. Peep into the water to look for fish, and keep an eye out for other critters hanging around nearby.