view of Japanese Garden

Japanese Friendship Garden

A place to relax, renew and connect


The art of stone in a Japanese garden is that of placement. Its ideal does not deviate from that of nature.”

Isamu Noguchi


The Babe and Herman Lehrer Japanese Friendship Garden on the TCC campus invites visitors to experience a moment of tranquility and reflection within its serene borders. The garden also serves as an outward expression of friendship – to the city of Tacoma, our sister city in Kitakyushu, Japan, and the South Sound’s Japanese-American community.

With its open and inviting design, the friendship garden is a place of respite and beauty, and manifests our collective spirit of understanding and acceptance of cultures beyond the American mainstream.

What to look for when you visit

Created as a “karesansui” or dry garden, notice the dry waterfall arrangement anchoring the highest corner of the site, flowing through a series of step downs to a sea of white sand. A pebble beach and central island can be reached by stone bridges. A 12-foot-tall pagoda and several stone lanterns remind visitors that human artifacts can co-exist with nature.

Where is the Japanese Friendship Garden located?

The garden is located on the north side of campus near the Art Gallery. Take a look at the Tacoma Campus map.

Facts about TCC's Japanese Friendship Garden

2002 TCC President’s Council on Cultural Diversity begins planning the creation of the garden in 2002, and hires Japanese architects from the Kitakyushu Greenery Association to design it
2007 Architects Sadaaki Mizuno and Toshiyuki Yano travel to TCC on several occasions to implement their design, which is completed in 2007
100 years Tacoma resident Babe Lehrer, a long-serving TCC Foundation board member, spearheads the effort to raise more than $250,000 to construct the garden, the first of its kind built in Tacoma in some 100 years