| The Asian Gardens
To the north of the Ellipse are the Asian Gardens, entered through a large bamboo gate, flanked by long trellises of Japanese Wisteria and two large Japanese Cryptomeria.
Down the steps is the first section, the Lotus Pond. The huge, fragrant lotus blooms occur on five-foot-tall stems in June. At the corners are Japanese ceremonial wash basins, a praying Buddha, and Daikoku, one of the seven Japanese gods of abundance. Down the second set of steps, walking under Fuji Cherry trees, is a seven-tiered pagoda with Japanese Maples behind it and three large Japanese Cryptomeria behind them.
To the left is the Maze, composed of 400 columnar yew shrubs. The gate to the Maze is an original antique from China. There is only one route to the center of the Maze, where a small Zen fountain and quite seating area await. Good Luck!
The Fuji Garden
To the right of the seven-tiered pagoda is the Fuji Garden. (Please watch your head as you enter through the 100-year-old, antique Japanese gate.) Follow the quiet path to the steps that will take you to a viewing point for the scaled model of Mt. Fuji. The large mounted plaque explains the significance of Mt. Fuji to the Japanese. The black lava rock atop the model are actual rocks brought from the summit of Mt. Fuji on a 1999 Baxter family climb. Please stop and take a little time here. The Mt. Fuji model is surrounded by Japanese Aucuba, which bloom white in the summer. A beautiful Ginkgo tree rises above the Aucuba along the bamboo trellis.