Explore the Japanese Garden after hours by the light of the moon

Moon Viewing, Japanese Garden, RayPfortner.com

Moon Viewing, Japanese Garden, RayPfortner.com

Enjoy the Seattle Japanese Garden after hours for the annual Moon Viewing Festival from 7-10 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29. For one enchanting evening each year, the Japanese Garden is magically lit up with lanterns, luminaries and floating boats on the pond welcoming the arrival of the full moon in Japanese tradition.

During o-tsukimi –the Japanese word for moon viewing–the beauty of the garden is enhanced by the sweet sounds of live instrumental music afloat in the night air, inspiring both romance and poetry.

Performers include Marcia Takamura and Chigusa Kitai on koto, James Jennings on shakuhachi, Gretchen Yanover on cello, and White Swans Records artist Gary Stroutsos on bamboo flute.

The festival features a popular haiku writing contest sponsored by Haiku Northwest. Winning poems, which are awarded prizes, will be read aloud to the audience at the end of the evening.

Visitors can get a special look at the full moon through telescopes, courtesy of Seattle Astronomical Society.

The evening also includes three tsukimi-chakai Urasenke-style tea ceremonies led by Tankokai Seattle, to be held in the Shoseian Teahouse located within the garden grounds. By popular request, this year’s festival includes the option of dining by candlelight at the garden. Guests can opt to pre-purchase a deluxe bento dinner along with event admission. There will be three menu options available. Quantities are limited.

General admission tickets are $15. Admission with tea ceremony is $25. Tickets can be purchased in advance at http://www.seattlejapanesegarden.org/moonviewingfestival.html. This event has sold out prior to the event date in past years; there are no door tickets. Annual passes are not accepted for admission to this event. The Japanese Garden gates, which will close to the general public at 4 p.m. on Aug. 29, will reopen to ticket holders only at 6 p.m.

The garden is located at 1075 Lake Washington Blvd. E. For more information, please visit http://www.seattlejapanesegarden.org/.