Normandale Japanese Garden

I have always been intrigued by the simple yet elegant look of Japanese gardens and my desire to have my front yard have a simple look led me to the Normandale Japanese Garden in Bloomington, Minnesota to see what the possibilities might be.

The beautiful garden is located at the Normandale Community College and sits on two acres. There is no charge to stroll through the garden. The designer of the garden, Takao Watanabe, was a professional garden architect from Tokyo, Japan. A quick search through the internet did not tell me if Mr. Watanabe is still living or what he may have continued to do with his life. However, I did find a Mr. Watanabe in Tokyo Japan who has become a Councillor and I have emailed him to see if he is the same person. I am always interested in what happens to people “later in life.” I’ll let you know if/when I hear anything back.

There was a lot of construction on the way to the garden even on a Saturday although signs are posted so it’s easy to find your way.

Sign to Normandale Japanese Garden

Although this garden is small it has the same design quality as larger Japanese gardens and leaves you with a sense of serenity.

Entrance to the Garden

And this is what you see when you first enter through the gate …

Normandale Japanese Garden
Japanese Garden Bridge
Normandale Japanese Garden

Walking down this path and to the right is another path …

Normandale Japanese Garden

To the right is a waterfall. The designer did a wonderful job of making sure the flow of the garden leaves you with a sense of calmness.

Normandale Garden Waterfalls

Stroll through the rest of this beautiful garden with me …

Normandale Garden Bridge
Flat Japanese Bridge
View to the right of the flat bridge
Looking back at the waterfalls

A view from the bridge …

What’s that I see in the water?

They have a koi pond here. I wonder what happens to the fish in the winter when it freezes. You suppose they move them somewhere else?

Koi Fish

There were a few geese lounging around … and lots of geese poop to avoid.


The red winged black bird seems to make an appearance in quite a few places.

Red Winged Black Bird
Japanese Bridge

Across the fence are wetlands.

Wetlands, Normandale Japanese Garden

This is a good place to gather your thoughts and experience a little bit of serenity.

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