I recently crossed another item off of my Bucket List: visiting the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach, Florida. I’ve driven by this spot so many times over the years, but had yet to visit this hidden gem until now.
The Morikami Museum sits on 200 acres of Japanese gardens, all representing different eras of garden design. I went with my parents on a breezy, overcast day, and it felt like we were transported to another world. We immersed ourselves in nature, enjoying the relaxing features of each garden.
The Yamato Colony
The Yamato Colony was a pioneering group of Japanese farmers who settled in South Florida in the early 1900s. The colony never grew past 35 farmers and consisted mainly of young single men. (Most women weren’t interested in relocating from Japan to the Yamato Colony.) One of the last colony members donated the land to be preserved to celebrate Japanese culture and educate others on the lesser-known history of Japanese heritage in Florida.
Modeled after a Japanese villa, the museum features thought-provoking art installations. These focus on life during World War II in the Japanese internment camps, a dark time in America’s history. One room features The Tag Project, a set of seven hanging installations with replicas of each identification tag for all of those displaced to internment camps. It creates a startling visual of just how many people were displaced at that time.
Visiting the Morikami Museum was an amazing educational experience that I cannot recommend enough. For those who live in South Florida or are planning a trip, take some time to walk through these gardens and learn about Japanese culture.
What’s on your bucket list this year? Share your latest adventures in the comments section below!