Ichimura Japanese Garden in Miami, a Hidden Oasis of Peace


If you are looking to get away from the city within the city look no more this magnificent garden is the ideal spot for a peaceful walk, long meditation, yoga, etc. and is all free!!!

In the 1950’s, Mr. Kiyoshi Ichimura became enamored with the City of Miami and began sending dismantled objects and materials from Tokyo along with carpenters, gardeners and a landscape architect to design and construct, what in 1961 would become, the “San-Ai-An Japanese Garden.”

The original location of the garden was Bayside Park in downtown Miami. It was moved to Watson Island when Bayside Park was redeveloped in 1960s. It was again moved to its present 1-acre site to facilitate construction of Jungle Island in 2001.

The City of Miami and landscape architect Lester Collins Pancoast and architect Thorn Grafton worked cooperatively with the Japanese Consul and The Friends of the Japanese Garden to redesign and reconstruct the Ichimura Japanese Garden.

Hours of Operation
Monday to Friday 7:00 am to 3:30 pm – Saturday and Sunday 9:30 am to 6:00 pm

Admission
Free. The garden is not generally staffed, so you are on your own.

Location and Parking
Located beside Jungle Island on Watson Island on the westbound lane of I-395 (MacArthur Causeway) between Miami Beach (South Beach at 5th. Street) and the City of Miami. Regrettably at present there is no official parking. To one side is a boat ramp which has a minimum US$ 10.00 parking fee, and on the other side is Jungle Island which charges US$ 7.00 for parking. You could of course park across the MacArthur Causeway for free, but would risk grievous bodily harm trying to cross over this speedway.

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Wandering Far Away


These photos below I took before I had a professional camera, some of them are with my iphone and regular digital camera, but never the less I still think they are quite beautiful and I wanted to share them in hopes of inspiring people to take beautiful photos even with their cellphone.

Church Street in Charleston, South Carolina

“Agora,”  Grant Park, Chicago -by Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz

Farm by the Road, Wisteria, Ohio

Old Building, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Autumn, Nashville, Tennessee

River Path, Park City, Utah


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My City Like You Never Seen Before


Miami has many enchanting places but nothing brings out the romance in me like standing by the venetian causeway at dusk, it simply transports me to another world. If you haven’t passed by here I absolutely recommend it during the twilight hours.

Summer sunsets in Miami can be magical too, California has nothing on us! Well maybe not, but still if you cant afford to travel at least you can spend an afternoon biking around downtown and you can be mesmerized by the sun rays turning Miami into a golden city of wonder! It’s not having what you want, is wanting what you got!

Miami can also be cold and charming in the 2 weeks of winter we experience here, specially because everyone seems to be in a good mood, maybe is due to the fact that we can show off our winter clothe which we all buy too much of considering how short our winter is here.  Never the less we Floridians prefer the summer for obvious reasons: the beach

Ok so our city might not be known for its historic architecture glory but its still there and everyone should check it out along with the museums and historical sites. Get to know your “neck of the woods” you might discover things you never knew! Be a tourist in your backyard!

Brickell Key is enchanting, taking a walk, gazing at the bay and spotting a dolphin here and there are just part of the magic. Seriously people if you get a chance stop by this mini city of wonder.

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Risky, But So Worth It!


I have always wondered why some say that photography is a “Risky Business”, standing, pointing, and shooting does not sound dangerous to me. WRONG! It all depends where you stand, what you are pointing at, and when you actually plan on shooting at it. I’m obsessed with skylines and I am always looking for the best angles to capture a good photo of the city skycrapers…Well this past weekend I realized I had to put my life in danger to do so. Yes that’s right (I hope my mom is not reading this or she’ll be pissed) in order to capture the shots you see below I had to positioned myself in the highest point of the 836 highway ramp that takes you to downtown Miami. Everyone who has ever taken this ramp knows that is heavy with traffic and cars fly through at the speed of light (also not the best drivers in the world) so the fact that I was merely standing right in the middle of it made me an Idiot (although I like to think of the term “Dedicated Photographer) the point is I did it – I took a risk and I’m very happy with the results, so mom get mad if you must! – I also hung outside the rails of a bridge 500 feet in the air that goes into the “Miami Port”, to take photos of the Bayside Marina and a few other boats and finally I stood in the middle of incoming traffic to shoot the “Freedom Tower”. I did get heavily sunburned if that counts as anything.


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Divine Trash


Trash indeed, is unfortunate to see so many forgotten classics slowly decaying on street corners throughout the city. This red rear-entrance double-deck Routemaster is one of those buses that once defined the streets of Britain and now sits in an empty dirt lot in Overtown. Shame, Shame, Shame…and some try to cover other beauties with their own visions of art…mmm I’m not convinced. I think some of these vehicles deserve a better future since they mark different eras of the human culture, but that’s just me. What do you think?

I’m Not Religious, But…


I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised the other day when I went for a walk during my lunch hour. Hidden deep in the heart of downtown Miami I stumbled upon a great architectural beauty. Despite the fact that I m not a fan of churches in general, I could not escape the trance. I never thought this busy, congested somewhat modern city still housed such an old structure from before World War II. Yes particularly ” The Gesu Catholic Church” which was built in 1896, the same year the city of Miami was named and incorporated therefore making this house of worship the oldest one in our backyard! Here are a few shots I took – Mind you, I had to climb the stairs of a nearby parking lot all the way to the 8th floor in order to capture some of these images and I got drenched in sweat, so much for the 21st century , the elevators were broken that day 😦

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A Tragic Legacy We Must Never Forget


Ok, so I know most people don’t usually like to see photos that are depressing or gruesome in a way, but as a photographer I must try to capture images that are powerful and capable of stirring our human emotions.(to a certain extend off course) I think what makes photography so powerful is the message it can convey in a single photograph. This weekend I took a trip to the “Holocaust Memorial” located in Miami Beach and what I experienced while taking some of these shots was nothing less than heart-breaking. Most of the Sculptures are life size which makes you connect to them immediately, as I walked down the long hallways which were embedded with millions of names of those victims from the holocaust, I started to transport myself to that time and became one of them.  The sounds of children angelically singing in the background enhance your emotions as you walk further in reaching the circular dome where the main sculpture is located. As I got near to the center of the dome I felt as if I myself was walking towards a gas chamber and grabbing my camera became a bit difficult at times. The expression on the faces of these statues are so frightening that you leave these place haunted by the memories of those poor souls.  I truly experience something supernatural this weekend and I have the utmost respect for the artist who build this memorial because he truly did captured the essence of this horrific era for humanity.  This said, I hope no one ever forgets , so that it never happens again.

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