Discovery of a Dog-friendly Japanese Garden

DSC_0925CSince joining K9 Kamp this year, and hosting the Keeping Up With K9 Kamp mini-challenges, I have been keeping a more regular daily routine with Chester and Gretel. We have managed to get out for about one big hike a week the past few years but our daily routine was lacking.

We love to explore and seek out new places to keep us motivated. Sometimes that means turning left when we usually turn right to walk a new street in our neighborhood. Other times that means seeking out new parks or places to hike close to home.

Yesterday I decided I wanted to do a photo shoot with the dogs so I looked around for dog-friendly gardens. I found a Japanese garden about 30 minutes south of us that is operated by the City Parks Department. As it turns out, it’s a place that Dog Jaunt wrote about a while ago – Kuboda Gardens.

Now, this place is in “South Seattle” (Ok, technically, Renton) which is not the best part of town. The photos of the garden looked amazing though and I was curious about this gem that had been hiding under our noses the whole time.

I won’t lie – my stereotype about the area was not wrong. I parked on the street and the house across from me was surrounded by a 8-foot wrought iron fence with pointy things on the top. I could see what looked like construction inside the entrance of the park. I found the sign below in the parking lot and there was a police van the size of the RV camped out in the parking lot.


Once I was inside it was like I was transported to a different, more pleasant part of the City. There were nice wide walking paths next to manicured plants and grass and smaller foot trails criss-crossing in between them that made you feel like you were on a hike in the woods. In the center of this large park is the historic Japanese Garden.




The area surrounding the Japanese garden had some pretty little hidden spots too.



We hiked the whole park in about an hour and a half, including our little photo breaks. There are plenty of pretty parks closer to home but this one was a nice change from our normal routine.



  1. says

    Pretty Park – that bridge is pretty neat. Good for you for getting out an exploring. We tend to get a little lazy and do the same hikes over and over. I try to mix it up, but maybe should make it a weekly routine like you’re doing.
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    • Jessica Rhae says

      I fall into that trap too. It’s like driving the same route because you are familiar with it even though it might not be the shortest. To keep me motivated with my walks, I feel like there has to be ONE thing different each time – a route, a new piece of gear or equipment to try, a new person, a new challenge (faster, etc).

    • Jessica Rhae says

      Yes. I am going to keep looking to see if there are other dog-friendly gardens around Seattle. I know there is a great demonstration rose garden up by our house but it’s not big enough to hike around in and get exercise.

    • Jessica Rhae says

      It’s always fun exploring new places. The surprises around every turn don’t make it feel like a workout. It was hot so I was sure sweating though :)

    • Jessica Rhae says

      Chester and Gretel always enjoy themselves when we are hiking. Much more than when we are just strolling the neighborhood. They would have enjoyed it much more if I had let them roll around in the dead bird we found :)

    • Jessica Rhae says

      I WOULD actually go there again, despite the drive and the neighborhood. I am thinking of hosting a walk there for our Adventureweiner Club.

  2. says

    We love variety too! We all have so much more energy when we find a new place to explore. At least with those two viscous Wiener Dogs along you did not have to worry about the crime in the area! Super cute photos. Mom says it reminds her of Japan, funny since it is a Japanese Garden, Mom! She used to fly there all the time, now she just misses the food sometimes.
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    • Jessica Rhae says

      It’s fun to find new challenges to keep us motivated…plus it forces us to explore the City and region we live in. It’s easy to get stuck in your neighborhood.

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