I miss the Osaka Japanese Garden; now is the time of year when I would seek it out on a spring time walk. My kids consider it “theirs.” Goes to show how vulnerable our love for a public place is, because currently Wooded Island in the Jackson Park lagoon, where the Japanese Garden is situated, is fenced off and under construction. In fact, the entire lagoon, south of the Museum of Science and Industry and a few blocks from where we live, is drained. Since I can’t go on a real stroll in the Japanese Garden, I decided I’ll dig into my picture trove and go on a virtual one. These photos are from two years ago.

The garden should look approximately like this right now as most trees along the lakefront (Lake Michigan is a “block” to the right of where you are “standing” in this picture) are still not green. To the left in the background is the rear portico of the Museum of Science and Industry.

How clean was that lagoon? And yet Wooded Island was always popular with local fishermen. They are now displaced, too.

In about two weeks, the garden should look like this, if it is even tended to. The next set of pictures were taken mid May in 2013. Off in the distance is my son. As I was saying, the garden is really his, and that of many other neighborhood children, I am sure.

This is just like a tenderly brushed-in water color, isn’t it? What delight for the soul after a long and gray winter!


The pagoda–the perfect spot for a little picnic, even when it’s damp and nippy. These days we can only glimpse the top of the pagoda’s roof as we drive by.

Be well, dear garden! I hope no one hurts you in the interim, and I hope you will reawake to your old serene splendor whenever the City of Chicago wraps up its Wooded Island restoration project.