We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Beautiful and peaceful”

Anderson Japanese Gardens
Ranked #1 of 35 things to do in Rockford
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Anderson Japanese Gardens is proud of its longstanding reputation as one of the highest quality Japanese gardens in North America. Our passion, however, is how the Garden positively impacts individuals and the communities where they live. We are committed to presenting first-class programs, events, and opportunities that bring people together in this uplifting natural setting.
South Elgin, Illinois
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Beautiful and peaceful”
Reviewed 23 July 2010

The Anderson Japanese Garden is definitely beautiful and peaceful. My husband and I went here on July 19th. It was our 2nd year anniversary. It was nice to be able to just walk around and enjoy nature. We really loved feeding the koi fishes. They were so huge! When you pay the entrance fee, you get an option to buy the fish food. Buy the fish food!

As much as I love this place, there was something missing... I'm not sure what but I just felt like there should be more to this place. I went to Chicago Botanical Garden a year ago and I really liked their Japanese garden there as well...I felt like I was really in Japan! Overall, this place was still great!

2 Thank j0mama481
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

582 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Merrimac, Wisconsin
1 review
“Beautiful garden combined with excellent restaurant”
Reviewed 29 June 2010

We were thrilled with the Anderson Japanese Garden. We had dinner there on a Friday evening and everything from the appetizers to desserts was excellent. They even had a string quartet playing that added beautifully to the ambiance. The next day we spent nearly three hours roaming these incredibly lovely gardens. They are peaceful, beautifully maintained, and if not for the traffic (heard but not seen) you would not know that you were in the middle of a city. The entrance fee is very reasonable. Truly a must see/must visit when in the Rockford area.

Thank krisbill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rockford, IL
Level Contributor
30 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“I was wowed!”
Reviewed 8 July 2009

This was the most beautiful place I have ever been. I wish I had pictures to post! I thought about getting the annual pass so I could come here just to read or write when I need a nice, quiet place.
We did the brunch, which was a bit expensive. but everything we tasted was excellent. It includes a custom made omelet, but we got so full off the buffet line that we could barely eat the giant, giant omelet, which tasted very good. I wish I could have taken a doggie bag.
People who say there is nothing to do in Rockford, well, they just haven't come here.

1 Thank holdthephoneplease
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
322 reviews
200 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 450 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 July 2008

This is a beautifully created and maintained Japanese garden marred only, in my opinion, by the rather out-of-place angel statues in the large pool. Like most Japanese gardens, it is meant to be taken in gradually, not run through, and is prettier in spring and fall than in summer. Artificial waterfalls are particularll lovely as are the footbridges. Nicely crafted Zen garden. Gift store could be a bit more inclusive. Admission fee is modest.

1 Thank JohnTheBear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Gardens are fine; disappointed with restaurant”
Reviewed 12 May 2008

I am from Rockford, and while I admire the detail and depth of beauty in the gardens, I had a bad experience at the restaurant - we called twice during operation hours; nobody answered the phone, so we called the main gardens, and they affirmed the restaurant was open and served all day. I drove in from out of town - no maiter de was at the front, and a number of waitresses on the side just looked at us. We finally sat ourselves. A waitress then approached, asked if we had been seated by the hostess. We pointed out that there was none, at which point she said that they were probably away, and that the restaurant (with only 2 patrons seated at that point) was reserved for the next 2.5 hours. There were no available tables.

My suggestions:
1. They need someone to answer their phone.
2. They need a hostess at the main counter.
3. They should inform the Gardens main office if the entire restaurant is booked, so other guests know.

We drove in from out of town for nothing; with gas at the price it is - not cool.

6 Thank raplon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Anderson Japanese Gardens also viewed


Been to Anderson Japanese Gardens? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing