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Arts and Entertainment

Now You Can Visit A 1930s Pasadena Japanese Garden Every Week

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A private Japanese-style garden in Pasadena mostly available to events and filming is now open to the public weekly on Thursdays.

The two-acre Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden, which was originally built in 1935, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. The tranquil, zen-like garden has a teahouse, bridges, a hill with a waterfall and ponds, and is shrouded by sycamores and oak trees.

Up until this point, the public could only stroll through the gardens on the last Sundays of the month (something they're still doing), but now you can visit it on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., for $7.50 if you purchase reservations online in advance or $10 in cash or by check at the door, according to Time Out Los Angeles. Reservations for Jan. 28 and Feb. 4 are now available online.

As for the upcoming Last Sundays event on Jan. 31, they'll be hosting a concert performance at 2 p.m. from Saeko Kujiraoka and Miriam Suzuki, who make up Harp & Koto Duo. The admission price also includes the performance, and can be purchased for $7.50 here.

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Charles and Ellamae Storrier Stearns commissioned the garden to be made by Kinzuchi Fujii, a landscape designer and carpenter. The high-end materials used to build the garden included imported Japanese stone ornaments, and special trees and plants you would normally find in the woods of Japan. Even the teahouse was made in Japan, then dissembled, brought to Pasadena and reassembled. Although the teahouse burned down in 1981, it was rebuilt to match Fujii's original plans.

There was a period of time when the gardens became rundown, and it wasn't until Jim Haddad inherited the gardens from his family in the mid-80s that he and wife began to restore it to its beauty that is today. And now you have plenty of chances to have a zen moment in the garden yourself.

Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden is located at 270 Arlington Dr. in Pasadena, (626) 399-1721

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