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Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rockford

(4.6/5 based on 500+ reviews on the web)
Travel back in time to the 13th-century style Anderson Japanese Gardens, complete winding paths that link pagodas to waterfalls and bridges. You will see numerous flowers and trees including Japanese maples, cloud pines, azaleas, magnolias, and rhododendrons, and various species of colorful fish, minks, and ducks. You can take a guided tour if you have eight or more guests, or do a self-guided walk of the gardens. While strolling through the gardens, look for statues of angels created by a Swedish sculptor Carl Milles who worked during the 19th and 20th centuries. Get garden ornaments and Japanese candies from the gift shop. Plan to visit Anderson Japanese Gardens during your Rockford vacation using our convenient Rockford trip itinerary planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • I went to a wedding held at the Anderson Japanese Gardens. A very nice, well maintained with a great variety of plants and flowers.
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  • It has been said that this is the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan. I get a season pass every year and spend a lot of time three seasons of the year there. It is my serene place where I...  more »
  • As always the Japanese send well when too when it comes to gardens. This Park is beautiful, nice, you pay 8 dollars to get in. Have a Japanese store, restaurant. Very frequented by families. Worth knowing, a place really where we find peace. To pay 8 dollars, you get to play for food fish are in the Lake.
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Google
  • It's a great getaway spot for weekend. One can easily spend 3-4 hours in park. Scenic and beautiful. Waterfalls are great.
  • A beautiful little gem to walk around. Visited first time, breathtaking fall colors, took memorable wonderful photos. Last moment decision, were very lucky to get there since they extended their season for a week.
  • Anderson Japanese Gardens is a haven of serenity in a chaotic world, and without a doubt one of my favorite places on Earth. Whenever I’m in Chicago, I make a point to reserve a few hours to drive out to Rockford to visit the gardens. From the minute you enter the grounds, it’s impossible not to lose your sense of time and self as you walk along the winding stone paths, exploring the traditional Japanese bridges, gates, tea house, and other structures. If you’re not careful, you can easily spend hours contemplating the varied colors, shapes, and textures of the flora, gazing raptly into the shallow pools and roiling waterfalls, or meditating inside the manicured rock garden. For the less philosophically-inclined, several of the pools are inhabited by schools of koi (along with the occasional itinerant duck) who are always willing to put on an entertaining show in exchange for food. Buy a bag of fish food – it will be the best $1 you’ve ever spent in your life. My only complaints are that the noise from the highway can be intrusive (though the sounds are drastically muffled if you head back to the Northeast corner of the gardens), and that I can’t pay to spend the night in the cottage on the grounds (to the owners: if you ever change your policy, please call me). Dante said that “Nature is the Art of God;” nowhere does this statement ring more true than at Anderson.
  • Beautiful park. Even though the weather was hot we enjoyed our visit. Our kids loved feeding the koi fish. The old tea house and guest house were beautiful to look in. Most of the paths were flat and well maintained. Some of the paths were marked as handicapped accessible. There was a wedding about the start when we were leaving. What a beautiful venue for it. There is a nice gift shop and a small restaurant on property. We will return in the fall when it is cooler and the leaves are changing on the trees.
  • We passed through this park on our way back from a road trip. It was beautiful, and we thankfully had great weather! The coy pond was fun, and the paths were very easy to see and walk through. They have a nice restaurant/ gift shop inside. I saw that they do yoga there on Saturdays, something I would definitely do if I lived in the area!