Founder History

Construction of Anderson Japanese Gardens began in 1978, when Rockford businessman John Anderson was inspired by a visit to the Portland Japanese Garden in Oregon. With the ongoing assistance of renowned Master Craftsman and designer Hoichi Kurisu, the Andersons’ swampy backyard along Rockford’s Spring Creek was transformed into a Japanese-style landscape. From groundbreaking to today, the placement of every rock, alignment of every tree, and layout of all paths has been made with careful consideration by Mr. Kurisu. In 1998, John and Linda Anderson donated the Gardens as a supported organization to the Rockford Rotary Charitable Association. It now exists as a not-for-profit entity and continues to grow and change to this day.



Tuesday Evenings in the Gardens

Join friends and family for a summertime music series in the picturesque setting of Anderson Japanese Gardens. Featuring both regional and national performers every Tuesday evening from Memorial Day to Labor Day, Tuesday Evening in the Gardens is an affordable and family-friendly event. Admission begins at 5:15 pm. Performances start at approximately 6:30 pm. Please enter through the Visitor Center.

Japanese summer festival

Join in the fun at our two-day cultural event featuring exhibits, traditional demonstrations and unique performances that appeal to all age groups. The Festival will be held on August 22 and 23, 2015, during regular garden hours. All Festival activities are included with Garden Admission. Garden Members are always free.

captured on canvas

Captured on Canvas features local artists painting scenes throughout the Gardens during the day and concluding with a reception in the evening. Guests who attend the reception are encouraged to stroll the Gardens and engage with artists as the final touches are made to their newly created works. All paintings will be auctioned and the successful bidders will take their new masterpieces home that evening.