Sitting right along Wetmore Avenue on the southwest corner of Everett Community College is the Nishiyama Japanese Garden. Hiding in plain site behind stucco walls, this amazingly authentic gem is one of Everett's best kept secrets. Countless people drive by without realizing it's there. One of the only clues is the gorgeous entry gate which is constructed of clear (knot-free) cedar that's imported from Kyoto, Japan.
"As with most things associated with a Japanese garden, the fence and gates have symbolic meaning as well as specific function. The garden is a separate world in which we have no worries or concerns, the fence insulates us from the outside, and the gate is the threshold at which we leave our worldly cares behind."
The garden has 12 primary elements. One of which is the waterfall.
"The passage of the water from a waterfall through a Japanese garden is thought to symbolize human existence: birth, growth and death as well as the idea of constant change."
The garden also features a rock garden, a tea garden and a strone bridge amongst other elements. The real showpiece (in our humble opinion) is the wooden bridge, though. Made of salvaged wood from the world famous Kintai bridge in Iwakuni, Japan, which is over 330 years old. That's some seriously old wood. The bridge was shipped to Everett in 5 different pieces in 2003, and was assembled by four carpenters from Iwakuni using traditional Japanese bridge construction techniques.
"The same carpenters were also involved in the reconstruction of the Kintai Bridge in Japan. Kumetsugu Ebisaki, chief carpenter on the bridge project, is the eleventh generation of his family to work on the Kintai bridge. The nails, spikes and bolts used in the bridge were made by the only artisan in Japan making them today and are guaranteed to last 1,000 years. The bridge is made of Hinoke cypress, Japanese Pine, zelkova wood, and others."
The garden is located at 905 Wetmore ave and open 10am-3pm Monday-Friday. Closed during college breaks and holidays. All quotes are from the Everett Community College hand out.