The photos and videos from this Japanese garden are just breathtaking.

The Most Beautiful Places in Illinois

Recently, Thrillist named the most beautiful places across the state of Illinois. From the Garden of the Gods in Shawnee National Forrest to the Bahá'í House of Worship (considered one of the seven wonders of Illinois), there is much beauty to see around Illinois, you just have to look for it.  One place on this list stuck out to me because of the colorful plants and gorgeous waterfalls, and that is the Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford, Illinois.

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Anderson Japanese Gardens

The Anderson Japanese Gardens' construction began in the 1970s, and things were continually added to the gardens for the next few decades.  According to Anderson Japanese Gardens' website, the latest major addition to the gardens was in 2010 when the pavilion was constructed.  The time it must have taken to not only construct these gardens but to grow the plants, and the care it must take to upkeep a place like this is fascinating.

What Makes a Japanese Garden Different?

You may wonder, what is the difference between a regular garden and a Japanese Garden?

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According to Anderson Japanese Garden's website, a Japanese Garden has three essential elements, stone, water, and plants.

Three of the essential elements used to create a Japanese garden are stone, which form the structure of the landscape; water, representing life-giving force; and plants, which provide the color and changes throughout the seasons.  Secondary elements include pagodas, stone lanterns, water basins, arbors and bridges.  Japanese gardens are very carefully designed and patiently pruned according to aesthetic principals to create a work of natural art that inspires calm, renewal, discovery and an invigorated soul.  Though most Japanese garden materials are not unusual, the way that all these basic elements are brought together and the emotions that they provoke is what makes a Japanese garden unique.

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Anderson Japanese Gardens are open for the 2024 season if you'd like to plan a trip to visit! Make sure you have plenty of storage on your phone because you'll want to take a ton of photos.

LOOK: Best scenic drives in Illinois

It's time to hit the road—Stacker compiled a list of the best scenic drives in Illinois using data from Tripadvisor as of March 2024.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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