Hidden Gem: The Japanese Garden-Van Nuys, CA


By Abby Berman Mazenod

~Deep in the heart of the San Fernando Valley is a hidden gem.

Most people who live in “The Valley” don’t even know that this beautiful oasis exists right in their backyard. I came across the Japanese Garden last year when I was looking for wedding venues.  I’ll be honest, it would have been perfect… if it didn’t have the Tillman Water Reclamation Center right next door to it. (On a windy day, I’m told it can get kind of smelly.) This beautiful peaceful garden really is a place of serenity though. On my last visit I saw people meditating, reading, writing etc. The garden is full of so much tranquility, that it’s surprising that it could be located right in the middle of the chaotic Valley. And the coolest part… this 6 1/2 acre garden is watered exclusively with reclaimed water from the Los Angeles area! For us Californians, constantly feeling guilty about taking an extra long shower in the morning, the idea of a lush green garden seems too decadent for our dry bones. But guilt is unnecessary when strolling around this awesome place. They are literally watering these plants with the water that you and I have already used! Super cool!

It is located 6100 Woodley Ave, Van Nuys, CA 91406.

They are open until 4:00 PM, Sunday through Thursday.

To get in it is $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and children.


The Tillman Water Reclamation Plant is also part of this property. It feeds water to the Japanese Garden, Lake Balboa, and other parts of the valley including underground reservoirs. You can actually take a tour of the plant… it’s really cool, really smelly, and they explain to you how the water treatment center works. There is also a detailed explanation of the process on their website.



Hope you choose to visit sometime!






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