Visiting Tsuru Island
When entering the Gresham Japanese Garden, commonly known as Tsuru Island (Sue Do) you will be greeted by a landmark in its own right—the beautiful arching bridge.
The four decades-old Japanese Garden, is only 3/4 of an acre. But it feels expansive. Broadleaf evergreens, pruned pines, vivid azaleas and bouncy groundcover are contained on an island created by Johnson Creek within the 21-acre Main City Park. Stroll past the shallow stream and pay attention to the intentionally irregular stone path, and you may feel temporarily transported.
Since the garden re-opened, citizen visits have increased substantially. Although we do not have a ticket system that allows an exact attendance count by the hour or by the day, we can see the increase at certain times of the day and general feedback from people when they stop to say “thank you”.
Watching the people come and go during the week or on the weekend allows one to realize that they are not just coming to the garden while visiting the park but rather they are visiting the park while coming to the garden — it has become a destination.
The garden gets dozens of visitors every day and we have noticed that on especially nice days all the benches (5) will be filled with individuals that have found it to be enjoyable at lunch time.
Garden In Color
Plants, trees, shrubs, groundcover show their optimum character at different times of the year. Garden In Color takes you on a monthly journey featuring the plants that really stand out amongst the others in Gresham’s Japanese Garden.
The Interactive Garden, or endearingly named “Jim’s Garden Notes” allows viewers to view the garden from 26 different view points. Each viewpoint documents the plant material, date and time of day, along with a description of what you’re viewing. You can download the PDFs and take them with you the next time you visit the Japanese Garden.
Hours of Operation
The City park and Tsuru Island are open daily from sunrise to sunset. This is a public garden created and maintained by dedicated volunteers. We ask that all visitors to follow our rules so everyone can continue to enjoy our treasure.
- Stay on the path.
- No sitting on the ropes.
- Respect the barriers that controls access.
- Please be respectful of others enjoyment of the garden.
- Strollers and bicycles are requested to be left outside the gardens.
- Dogs must be on leash and clean up after your dog.
- Food is allowed in the garden.
Finding Tsuru Island is quite simple. Head to Historic Downtown Gresham and enter through Main City Park off of Powell Blvd and Main Street.
Gresham Japanese Garden – Tsuru Island
Garden tours are typically given by the Japanese Garden’s lead gardener, Jim Card. Tours are available for groups larger than five people and are by appointment only.