Every once in a while this house enthusiast ventures beyond New England to make other discoveries. Sometimes similarities are more striking than differences. Such was the case with this diminutive waiting shelter in the Tea Garden of the Portland Japanese Garden in Oregon. It reminded me of the little waiting hut at Mytoi on Chappaquiddick off Martha’s Vineyard which I wrote about here one Memorial Day.
Both structures have a nearly visceral appeal. The Portland Japanese waiting shelter has a simpler roof than the Mytoi hut, and it incorporates bamboo as well as earth-tone stucco, which the Mytoi hut does not. Despite subtle differences, both are assembled with sophisticated attention to detail, and both demonstrate a refined simplicity of purpose and material. They are pint-sized delights that display a nuanced range of variation within a rich ceremonial tradition. Whether in New England or out West, a Japanese tea garden is to be savored.
by Katie Hutchison for House Enthusiast