The Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden is a place where nature, tranquility and beauty come together. The garden is open daily from 8 a.m. to one half hour before dusk, April 1 through Nov. 1.
The Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden was completed in 1974 and symbolizes the friendship of Spokane and its sister city, Nishinomiya, Japan.
The well-known Japanese landscape architect, Nagao Sakurai, who at one time was in charge of the Imperial Palace grounds, was enlisted to design the garden in 1967.
Construction of the waterfall and pond began in 1970. Late in 1973, after the original architect suffered a stroke, two landscape architects from Kobe, Japan, Shosuke Nagai and Hirohiko Kawai, were contracted to complete the garden, which was dedicated by both cities on May 17, 1974.
Ed Tsutakawa, founder of the Spokane Nishinomiya Sister City relationship and a champion of the Sister City movement in Spokane for 45 years, until his death in 2006, was instrumental in the design and development of the Japanese Garden.
To honor Mr. Tsutakawa, the suggestion was made that renaming the Japanese Garden would be an appropriate accolade. That idea was presented to Mr. Tsutakawa's family, and, at the same time to the Mayor of Nishinomiya, who immediately responded saying, "I believe that the re-naming is an excellent way to honor Mr. Tsutakawa and to pass on a record of his great legacy to future generations. The garden is truly a symbol of our friendly relationship."
At its December 2007 meeting the Spokane Park Board approved the re-naming of the Japanese Garden to be known henceforth as the Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden. The site was re-dedicated on April 20, 2008, with the planting of a flowering cherry tree which was a commemorative gift from the Nishinomyia and Spokane Sister City Societies.