The Japanese Garden is a public Japanese garden located on the grounds of the Tillman Water Reclamation Plant adjacent to Woodley Park, in the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area of the central San Fernando Valley.
It is in the community of Lake Balboa, adjacent to the Van Nuys and Encino neighborhood.Its name in Japanese is SuihoEn meaning "garden of water and fragrance." The idea of having a Japanese Garden adjacent to a water reclamation plant was conceived by Donald C. Tillman. The garden’s purpose was to demonstrate a positive use of reclaimed water, in what is usually considered a delicate environment, a Japanese garden. The ponds and irrigation use reclaimed water from the adjacent water reclamation plant.DesignThe gardens were designed by Dr. Koichi Kawana, and created from 1980 to 1983. Their formal dedication was in June 1984. The Japanese Garden has been ranked 10th out of 300 public Japanese gardens in the United States by the Journal of Japanese Gardening.As one first enters The Japanese Garden, one walks through a dry Zen meditation garden containing a large grass-covered mound, representing Tortoise Island, a symbol of longevity, and a Three Buddhas (Trikaya) arrangement of stones. Next comes an expansive chisen, or "wet strolling" garden with waterfalls, lakes, trees, and stone lanterns. At path's end is the Shoin Building with an authentic 4½ tatami (7 m²) tea house and adjacent tea garden.
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