The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens is a hub for Japanese arts and culture in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States. It is located west of Delray Beach. The site features two museum buildings, the Roji-en Japanese Gardens: Garden of the Drops of Dew, a bonsai garden, a library, a gift store, and the Cornell Cafe, a Japanese restaurant that has been highlighted on the Food Network and Vizcaya Television. Both buildings include rotating exhibitions, while the main building hosts demonstrations, including tea ceremonies and workshops. Japanese traditional festivals are held many times a year.
George Morikami, a native of Miyazu, Japan, gave his property to Palm Beach County for use as a park. George Morikami was the only Yamato Colony, Florida resident to remain in Delray Beach following World War II. He first suggested gifting the site to the City of Delray Beach, but the proposal was rejected. The Museum opened in 1977 in what is today known as the Yamato-kan. The museum’s main building opened in 1993. The Roji-en gardens began construction in 1993.
Morikami Park encompasses an area of 188.5 acres, which contains the museum. One picnic pavilion, six smaller picnic shelters, and a playground are available. The Challenger Astronaut Memorial and the Yamato Pioneer Memorial are located there.
Each year, the Morikami Museum and Gardens hold a variety of Japanese-themed events, including Oshogatsu (New Year’s) in January, Hatsume Fair Holiday in April, and Lantern Festival in October (modeled after the Japanese Obon festival). These events, which attract people from around the state, offer food and art exhibitors. Additionally, the Lantern Festival incorporates a drum performance and a participatory dance routine each year. After sunset, visitors customize their lanterns with their year’s goals and release them into the center lake.
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