Tucson, Arizona, March 2, 2023 – With wild, wide-open spaces, the Southwest draws travelers seeking free range for their visions. There’s equal room for inspiration in cultivated and compact Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson. Although its name itself means “dream” in Japanese and the Arizona sun and heat can produce vaporous illusions, non-profit Yume is no fleeting mirage.
Opened on January 13, 2013, it’s now entering its tenth year of attracting U.S. and international visitors to authentically detailed recreations of intimate courtyard gardens in Kyoto, Japan. 

A decade on from its origins as a barren dirt lot, Yume’s grounds have been transformed to reflect 1,000 years of Japanese landscaping artistry. Manicured shrubs, a grove of swaying giant bamboo and winding paths and traditional wooden gates lead to a tranquil koi pond. Nearby stands a replica traditional Japanese cottage. Hand-built, with hewn stone footings, mud-plastered walls and tatami rice mat flooring, its natural materials and open-air frame embody sukiya style, based on harmonizing with nature. 

Widening appreciation of Japanese culture goes hand in hand at Yume with promoting public health: the beauty and serenity of Japanese gardens makes them ideal havens to ease emotional distress and enhance mental well-being. A program of healing meditative garden walks instituted by the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach, Florida, and now active in several Japanese gardens throughout the US.

 A small museum and an art gallery are other enriching elements developed at Yume over the years. A special highlight: one of the nation’s major collections of vases used in traditional Japanese flower arranging, or ikebana. A permanent display of rustic, vintage folk art called mingei contrasts with changing shows of elegant kimonos and contemporary works by notable local and international artists inspired by Japanese themes, in media from ceramics and sculpture to textiles and photography.

For the next three months, Yume is celebrating its first decade with a slate of memorable events and exhibitions. This is a heartfelt Domo arigato! – “Thank you!” – for ten years of success and growth sustained by Yume’s visitors, volunteers, members, and individual and organizational donors, including the Japan Foundation.

2023 Events:

  • Spring Ikebana Festival, 10th Anniversary Special Edition:  February 23 to March 5, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 
  • “Enigma of Shadows” – Butoh dance-drama by Funhouse movement theater:  March 4, 3 p.m.to 5:15 p.m. 
  • “Duo Chinoiserie” – Koto Concert:  March 9, 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Issun Boshi (“Little One-Inch”) Puppet Show:  March 12, 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. 
  • Book Presentation: The Japanese American Experience – Change and Continuity, by Minoru Yanagihashi, March 18, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Haiku Spring Walk: March 19, 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Introductory Haiku Walk: March 19, 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Yume 10th Anniversary Festival Day:  Live entertainment, Japanese food, and games, handicraft and costume activities for children:  April 1, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • “Folk Celebration” – Traditional Japanese songs and instrumental recital:  April 13, 6 p.m.to 8 p.m. 
  • Tea Ceremony:  April 23, 1:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.  

Museum Exhibition
“Obi: Beauty in a Knot” – Traditional kimono sashes:  on view now and until Yume closes for the summer in May 2023.
Art Gallery Show
“No Mud, No Lotus” – Japanese-inspired ceramics by Curt Brill:  March – April 2023.