The very first authentic Japanese garden in Tucson celebrated it's grand opening today, at 2130 North Alvernon Way. It's a brand new tourist attraction, expected to bring in big crowds.
The name of the Japanese gardens is Yume, which means dream. Behind these wooden gates is literally a dream come true for a local woman. She turned her ideas into reality.
It's a traditional, peaceful haven.
"We've seen this as a vacant lot- to see this. It's just another world-- right here in the middle of the city," said Liz Strong.
The celebration today of the creation of another world, it is hard to imagine you're in the middle of the desert in the surroundings. "A Japanese garden is a healing garden," said Patricia DeRidder, the garden's founder.
Among the artfully decorated flowers, the generously flowing cups of sake, the sushi, the solitude of a traditional tea ceremony, and the tranquility lies Tucson's newest tourist attraction. It is a garden that's expected to draw up to 20,000 visitors in it's first year.
It's the southernmost garden in the west. "It's beautiful- we want this in my own yard," said Terry Swartz.
Patricia DeRidder lived in Japan for 15 years and brought this "yume" or dream to Tucson. Even the guy who oversees the traditional gardens in Kyoto, who happened to be visiting seemed impressed seeing a Japanese garden in the desert.
"A garden that just opens is work in progress with volunteers and maintenance crew it will get better and better," he said.
The gardens open to the general public on Saturday, Jan. 19. Admission is $9 for adults, seniors and children will get a discount. They plan to host events and concerts here as well.
Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.
7831 N. Business Park Drive