Tillman Japanese Garden

Cause Area

  • Arts & Culture
  • Children & Youth
  • Community
  • Environment


6100 Woodley AveVan Nuys, CA 91406 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

To demonstrate the positive use of reclaimed water and celebrate, educate about Japanese culture.


In the midst of the busy San Fernando Valley lies an oasis - a 6 1/2 acre garden, which features three gardens in one. As one enters The Japanese Garden, designed by Doctor Koichi Kawana, there is a dry Zen meditation garden (karesansui) containing Tortoise Island, a three-Buddha arrangement of stones, and a wisteria arbor across a Plover Path. Next along the path is an expansive Chisen or "wet-strolling" garden with waterfalls, lakes and streams, abundant greenery, and stone lanterns which were hand-carved by artisans in Japan. At the end of this path is the Shoin Building with an authentic 4 1/2 tatami mat teahouse and adjacent tea garden.

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 generally agreed to be a delicate environment, a Japanese Garden.
The uniqueness of this garden is that it is authentic in every detail. At the same time, every effort has been made to make it compatible with the contemporary buildings nearby, as well as with the San Fernando Valley environment.

The basic style of the garden is known as Chisen-Kaiyushiki, or "wet garden with promenade".

The Garden offers a diverse array of cultural programming for all-ages throughout the year from an origami festival, to Japanese Tea Ceremony and more!


Would you recommend Tillman Japanese Garden?
1 review Write a review
by Michael F. (Administrator for this Organization) (July 30, 2018)
I have enjoyed volunteering at the Japanese Garden because the space is gorgeous! I enjoy sharing the Garden with visitors and the staff are kind and thankful for my service.

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