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Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens

Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens

Delray Beach

Built in 1977.

Designed by Barretta and Associates-Architect of Record | Yoshino Architecture-Renovations.

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Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, with its unique gardens and collections, is one of Palm Beach County’s most treasured cultural attractions. Located in a tranquil natural setting, Morikami invites visitors to explore its many facets and discover Florida’s heritage and its connection with Japan. The original building, the Yamato-kan, is modeled after a Japanese villa. It features a ring of exhibition rooms surrounding an open-air courtyard with a dry garden of gravel, pebbles, and small boulders. The Yamato-kan offers exhibits that chronicle the history of the Yamato Colony and the design philosophy of garden designer Hoichi Kurisu. The principal museum building opened in 1993 to meet popular demand for more programming and versatile facilities and to satisfy the needs of a growing community. The museum’s architecture is inspired by traditional Japanese design. The building features exhibition galleries, a theater, an authentic tea house with a viewing gallery, classrooms, a museum store, the Cornell Cafe, and lakeside terraces for a panoramic view while dining. The 16 acres that surround Morikami’s two museum buildings include expansive Japanese gardens with strolling paths, resting areas, a world-class bonsai collection and lakes teeming with koi and other wildlife. The wider 200-acre park features nature trails, pine forests and picnic areas. In 2001, Morikami completed a major garden expansion and renovation. The new gardens reflect major periods of Japanese garden design, from the eighth to the 20th century, and serve as an outdoor extension of the museum. According to the garden designer, Hoichi Kurisu, each garden is intended to express the character and ideas of a unique counterpart in Japan without attempting to duplicate those gardens, and seamlessly flow together as one garden.

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