Midday at Anderson Japanese Garden – Rockford, Illinois

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A Midday visit to the Anderson Japanese Gardens – Rockford, Illinois

Social media is really good for some things. Exposing you to places you wouldn’t otherwise know about, is one of those things.

Having seen numerous photos of the Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford, Illinois, we figured it was time for us to make a visit.

Our visit was timed in conjunction with a camping trip we had planned nearby. We visited the Anderson Japanese Gardens on a Friday, arriving just before lunchtime.

Since we had never been, we didn’t really know what to expect in terms of location, traffic, visitor traffic, parking, etc. I’ll cover some of that in a bit.

First stop was The Fresco at the Gardens for a quick bite to eat. Highly recommend giving the restaurant at the Gardens a try. Breakfast and Lunch are served and hours are from 8:00am to 2:00pm.

The Fresco prepares all menu items made with extremely fresh ingredients – lots of greens and fruits. I went for the Blackened Salmon Tacos and they were very tasty. Since we visited on a Friday during lunch, the restaurant was busy. However, the service did not falter and the food was fantastic.

Following lunch, we made our way to the Guest Services to pay the $9.00 admission fee. Discounts for seniors and children – make sure to check on those.

We loved our visit to the Anderson Japanese Gardens and will plan to return. Since we live about three hours from the gardens, we aren’t nearby very often but it is worth a stop if you are in the area or passing through.


  • Parking is adequate. We were in the area with our RV, which made parking quite challenging. It is doable, however, on a busy day, you may not get into the parking lot with a larger vehicle.
  • The Garden is located right in the middle of Rockford, Illinois. We encountered some moderate traffic in the area but not terrible. Be sure to check routes in advance.
  • Check the Gardens’ Calendar before you visit. They do have activities going on at various times.
  • If you are looking for a quieter experience, call ahead and check with guest services regarding best times to visit. Midday on a Friday was fairly busy and we were never out of sight of other visitors, which was fine. However, it made for some challenging photos. We didn’t take any photos of the buildings, benches, or structures since there were other visitors standing, sitting, or taking photos themselves.

Below are some of the photos we took to give you a taste of the beauty of the gardens. Anderson Japanese Gardens has a Photography Policy – Be sure to read that before planning a photo op. 






Useful links

Anderson Japanese Gardens – website Homepage

Calendar of events

The Fresco at the Gardens  & Menu (pdf)

Google Map for the Gardens

There you have it folks – The Anderson Japanese Gardens.

Plan on making a visit to this North-Central Illinois destination. A very lovely, relaxing experience well worth the price of admission.

Thanks for reading.

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    1. Yes it is. I was very pleased with our time there. Lovely hidden gem. Thanks for stopping by 🙏🏻

    1. Well great – I got the intended result the 👍🏼👍🏼. If you are nearby you should give it a try. It was my wife’s idea but I was glad I went. Thanks for stopping by and for the comments 🙏🏻

  1. We used to have family that lived in Rockford, and whenever we visited, we would tour the gardens and always eat at the restaurant. The garden is such a beautiful place in a less than beautiful town.

    1. Never spent much time in Rockford so I can’t say about the town. Gardens are sure lovely

    1. Very nice at the Gardens. Was my wife’s idea but I was glad we went. Thanks for stopping by

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