The Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden

The Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden

Opening to the public June 13, 2015.

One of the most revered and deeply appreciated international garden styles, the 8-acre addition will further the organization's dual mission of horticulture and sculpture.

Tranquility, simplicity and beauty are the very essence of a Japanese garden. Fred and Lena Meijer had long appreciated the traditions and experiences of Japanese gardens. In 2009, Fred Meijer articulated his and Lena’s shared love of Japanese gardens and asked about adding one to Meijer Gardens. The concept was born, planning began and construction commenced in 2012.


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As a centuries-old, yet timeless horticultural presentation style, the Japanese Garden complements Meijer Garden's mission and values, and allows exploration in unique ways to bring the art of the garden and the art of sculpture together. Adding such an international garden has been part of the master planning process for more than a decade and an ideal location was selected that includes water, elevation changes and quiet surroundings.

Highly unique to the Japanese Garden, landmark works of contemporary sculpture by international masters will be included, offering thoughtful and thought-provoking aesthetics in keeping with the essence of the Japanese garden tradition and philosophy.

The Japanese Garden begins with an artful design by Hoichi Kurisu and the firm Kurisu International. His work ranks among the finest Japanese gardens outside of Japan, including Portland Japanese Garden (Oregon), Anderson Gardens (Rockford, IL), Morikami Museum and Japanese Garden (Delray Beach, Florida).

Kurisu International, founded in 1972, is a landscape design/build firm whose unique gardens create “inner space” for inspiration and healing. Their approach is a whole-system design, a methodology deeply rooted in the specificity of place, people and purpose, and uniquely suited to draw out nature’s ability to meet humanity’s need for inspiration, restoration and healing.


New works of sculpture, by contemporary masters such as Anish Kapoor, Zhang Huan, David Nash, Masayuki Koorida and Giuseppe Penone, among others, will be permanently installed within the Japanese Garden. This unique marriage of beautiful art in beautiful green spaces has long been a key element of the Meijer Gardens mission. 



Fred and Lena Meijer made a significant gift to begin the design process. They also believed that this garden deserved to have the name of another Grand Rapids family who could provide essential leadership in making our region among the best cultural communities in America. In support of Fred and Lena's vision and leadership, Richard and Helen DeVos have made a substantial leadership gift to the project that will bear their names: The Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

The Japanese Garden, a centuries-old tradition, won't be truly mature for several hundred years. Help support the maintenance of the Japanese Garden for generations to come. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Contact the development department at (616) 975-3177 or for additional information or Donate Online Now.