Location: EBM Japanese Garden, California State University Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840
Phone: (562) 985-5930
Hours: Tuesday through Friday: 8am to 3:30 pm, Sunday: Noon to 4PM, Closed : Saturdays and Mondays, Closed for Winter and Spring Breaks, the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving day through the following Sunday. Please call (562) 985-8885 to verify closure dates and daily hours as university events sometimes require early closures. Tours for groups of 10 or more may be arranged.
Fees: suggested donation is $2 for adults
Comments: Dedicated in April 1981, the garden was built through the generosity of Mrs. Loraine Miller Collins in memory of her late husband, Earl Burns Miller. When you are entering the gate, after passing the black bamboo grove, an impressive vista of the hill and pond awaits you.
The entry gate with its tiled roof was inspired by a gate in Kyoto, Japan. Below, a large Kasuga stone lantern is set against a backdrop of Japanese black pines. Historically the lanterns were used for illumination purposes, but now they are only used as ornaments to the garden.
Just inside the gate are two Koma-Inu or "Lion Dogs". They are mythological animals and are posted at the gate to ward off evil spirits. Along the walking path in the garden, we can see the azaleas covering the hillside, which burst into rose, white, and the palest pink in spring. Azalea varieties grown in the garden include Rhododendron Indica, Formosa, Fielder's White and Red Bird. Japanese gardens are designed to showcase the greenery of shrubs and trees and are generally more monochronomic than Western-style gardens which emphasize the colors of blooming plants. The dominance of greenery creates a serene and restive quality in the garden. The rocks spread along the beach represent water. The beach is reminiscent of a stream bed leading to the sea. At the lake's edge is the Yukimi-Doro, or Snow-Viewing lantern, which is one of the most popular Japanese lanterns. The arch bridge is patterned after the more-highly arched drum bridges and crosses the stream that cascades down from the waterfall. When reflected in the water, it becomes a full circle representing the completeness of the garden. The eight bud-shaped finials atop the bridge posts represent the eight spiritual principles that enlighten the path to Nirvana. This bridge is the site chosen by many couples for their wedding ceremonies. In the middle of the lake, a turtle island is left deliberately inaccessible to people to represent a sanctuary and a place of everlasting happiness. It is considered to be a paradise that is out of reach to people.
The path to the Tea Garden is flanked by lovely white birch trees. The Tea House is used to commemorate special occasions.
The dry garden or the kurasansui is raked gravel representing a body of water. The zig-zag bridge wards off evil spirits that, according to folklore, can travel only in straight lines. Beneath one of the large, graceful weeping willow, there are the Japanese irises. In May, they produce a wash of large lavendar, purple, and white blossoms. The rare, slow growing black bamboo sheilds the view upon entering and leaving the garden gate.
Directions: From 405 Fwy Southbound: Exit at Bellflower Blvd. Turn left from the off-ramp and then make an immediate right on Bellflower Blvd. Continue to Beach Drive and turn left into campus. Turn Left on Earl Warren Drive. At the second Stop sign turn Right, into Parking Lot 16.
From 405 Fwy Northbound / 22 Fwy West / 605 Fwy South: Exit at 7th Street and continue to Bellflower Blvd. Turn right at Bellflower Blvd and make another right at Beach Drive.Turn Left on Earl Warren Drive. Japanese Garden will be on your left side after passing the second Stop sign.
Parking: Use metered spaces during the week or you may also purchase a permit from one of the yellow day permit machines ($3.25) in order to park in one of the student parking lots..