Guide to Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden

Any trip to Long Beach, CA should include a visit to the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden (note: you must make a reservation to visit). With its traditional Japanese architecture and tranquil gardens, the park provides a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. In this guide, we’ll provide an overview of the park’s history and features, as well as tips on how to make the most of your visit.

What is the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden?

The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden is a living museum that was originally built in 1977, and is named after the former President of California State University, Long Beach, who was the husband of Loraine Miller Collins, who founded and built the gardens.

The gardens were designed by Long Beach landscape architect Edward R. Lovell, who took inspiration from the Imperial Gardens in Tokyo, Japan where he visited before designing the gardens. The mission, stated on the website is “to provide a place of refuge, beauty and learning for all who enter its gates.”

The garden spans just over an acre of land, and features a koi pond, bonsai collection, zen garden, waterfalls and serene walking paths. One of the highlights of the park is the Tea House, which was built in the traditional Japanese style and is available for rental. The park also hosts a range of events throughout the year, including art exhibits, musical performances, and workshops. The garden is dedicated to providing education and wellness opportunities.

Programs and Events

The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden hosts programs and events throughout the year, such as yoga, a chrysanthemum show and an origami festival. Special events sometimes have a fee, so check the website to see what’s going on when you’ll be visiting!

You can also adopt a koi for a fee, and there are specific feeding times for the koi that guests can participate in.

The gardens are also an event venue, so events such as weddings are sometimes held here. You can rent out the space for private events, and parties of up to 150 people can fit in the space. Note that the gardens may be closed for private events.

If you really love the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden, there is a membership program and you can also make donations to the nonprofit organization that runs this tranquil spot.

Where is the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden located?

The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden is located within the California State University, Long Beach campus. The address is 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA.

Check the website for parking prices and information. You can park in Lot 16 or metered lots, and the student parking when available (note: during the school year, student parking is probably too crowded).

Reservations

Reservations (good for up to 6 people) are required to visit the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden, and can be made up to three months in advance.

Admission is currently free of charge. The park is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon – 4:00 pm, and closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

What to expect

You can expect the gardens to be a place of peace and tranquility. There is meditative music playing as you explore the grounds and watch the koi fish, ducks and other wildlife, plus admire the plants, trees and flowers on the grounds.

The space is relatively small but there are benches, a bridge and places to hang out, so you can bring a book, meditate, walk around or take some photos (but, if you’re looking for a professional photo session you’ll need reservations). You can easily spend about an hour on the grounds.

The garden design includes many traditional Japanese design elements such as lanterns, a wooden moon viewing platform, the tea house and arched bridge.

There is also a mini island in the pond, called Turtle Island, with three boulders that represent mountains. The island has no bridge to reach it, and represents fantasy life, a Japanese concept.

There are bathrooms on the grounds, and no food is allowed. Bikes are also not allowed in the gardens.

If you’re looking for a place to relax and recharge, the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden is the perfect spot. It’s also a great way to experience some of Japanese culture without leaving Long Beach!

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