Visit the Osaka Garden in Jackson ParkStroll across the arced Moon Bridge, across a zig-zag of stones both imported from Japan and brought in from the limestone karst of Indiana, and you’ll eventually find yourself at a peaceful pavilion, symbolically removed from the immediate hustle of Chicago. It’s one of the only places in the city where you can be in complete silence. This is one of the hallmarks of the Osaka Garden, one of the only standing relics from the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. The garden is tucked rather secretly into Wooded Island—an area of Jackson Park that was recently rated one of the best areas of the entire city.
Some time after the World’s Fair (around 1931), Jackson Park was renovated and redone to attract more locals—this included the construction of a Shinto-style gate and a teahouse; the garden became enclosed to make it a touch more private. Vandals burned the garden down just ten years after the new construction, as the garden and buildings were abandoned during the Second World War. In the 1970’s, Jackson Park became a designated nature sanctuary, and in 1983, the garden reopened. It was redone again in the 1990’s and yet again in 2002. The results, as one can imagine, are spectacular. The strolling garden is peaceful, yet striking, home to native and Japanese flora. Lose yourself in a well-kept corner of the Windy City—the Osaka Garden.