Walking along the gravel paths, you can almost hear it — the gentle twang of a shamisen or the lilting notes of a flute. The wind rustles through pink cherry blossoms, stirring the pond of koi fish as you cross over a red bridge leading you to the traditional tea house. At the Birmingham Botanical Gardens in Alabama, their immersive Japanese Gardens are enough to make you totally forget you’re not even in The Land of the Rising Sun!\nIf you’re looking to take an exotic trip this summer but aren’t quite feeling the hassle of actually traveling, spending tons of money, and having to plan extensively in advance to venture abroad, then a visit to these gardens in Birmingham is the perfect compromise.\nThe Japanese Gardens section of the grounds was opened in 1967 by the Japanese Ambassador of the U.S. They house 7.5 acres of authentic of koi, bamboo forests, ginkgo trees, and even cherry blossoms.\nYou’ll enter the gardens through a bright red torii gate and leave Alabama behind as you travel across the world — even if it's just for a few hours.\nThe entrance path is lined with gorgeous pink cherry blossoms that you can catch in full bloom in the early spring months. The gardens even maintain a unique beauty in the cold winter season too.\nView this post on Instagram We wish you a very Merry Christmas! A post shared by Birmingham Botanical Gardens (@bbgardens) on Dec 25, 2018 at 7:48pm PST\nThe whole site is an interwoven collection of several smaller gardens, each displaying a collection of Japanese flora and architecture.\nThe meditative Karesansui garden evokes calm and peace with its composition of boulders artistically placed in patterns of raked sand. And according to the Birmingham Gardens' website, the traditional 16th-century Sukiya-style teahouse is one of less than a dozen in the U.S.\nView this post on Instagram Little preview for an upcoming @minervacrafts maker post on their blog! It's my first one and I am so excited to work with them! I love our botanical gardens! I COULD NOT resist this red bridge! Isn't it fabulous? The fabric made me want to head to the Japanese garden area. I only wish there were cherry blossoms! I have seen them before in Japan and it is such a beautiful sight! Anyways, isn't it funny how fabric guides you sometimes!? Does fabric guide you and tell you what it wants to be? Does it speak to you and say, this make needs to be super extra or this needs to be romantic? Mine does! I know it's weird but for real! I cannot just pick a random fabric out of my stash to go with a garment. Not all fabrics look good with all garments! Sometimes I will look at the fabric for a long time and wonder...why can't I find something to make with this fabric? Then a lightbulb goes off like months later sometimes and I am like YES! perfect combo! Does anyone else stress out about this as much as me? Just thought I would start up a good conversation since my dress is sooooo far away 😂😂😂😂⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Dress: #UTmatilda by @untitledthoughts⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Fabric: #minervacrafts⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ at @bbgardens⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #memadeeveryday #memade #collectivelycreate #botanicalgardens #getoutside #nature #japanesegarden #millennialsewing #modernsewist #sewersofinstagram #sewallthethings #sewistsofinstagram #fashionblogger #sewingismysuperpower #fashionpost #model #photoshoot #editorial #portrait #portraitphotography #fashiongram #modellife #fashionphotography #diystyle #diyootd #fashion #instadaily #stylephotography A post shared by Victoria Smith (@victorialucilleanne) on Jun 4, 2019 at 9:30am PDT\nThe center is pulled together by seven beautiful waterfalls that flow into an equal number of pools, eventually leading into Long Life Lake. Why seven? It’s to represent the seven virtues of bushido, the samurai creed.\nView this post on Instagram Torii | 𝘎𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘸𝘢𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘏𝘦𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘯 ⛩ . . . #botanicalgardens #japanesegardens #falls #fall2019 #photooftheday #picoftheday #potd📸 #potd #fujix #fujixlovers #landscape #nature #ipulledoverforthis #landscapephotography #bhamnow #bham #instagrambham #birmingham #birminghamal #alabama #onlyinalabama #explorealabama #alabamatravel #thisisalabama #chimein #mjabphotos A post shared by mj (@mjabphotos) on Dec 9, 2019 at 9:51pm PST\nYou may find yourself growing more pensive as you walk, and for good reason. The arching Moon Bridge, as well as the twists and turns of The Bridge of Accomplishment, are meant to symbolize the ups, downs, and navigation of life and spans the entirety of the lake.\nView this post on Instagram A post shared by Mackenzie Gilkerson ♡ (@mackenziegilkerson) on Jul 13, 2019 at 7:18pm PDT\nForget the passport and expensive plane tickets, and enjoy your trip to this tiny slice of Japan tucked away in Alabama!\nBirmingham Botanical Gardens\nPrice: FREE\nAddress: 2612 Lane Park Rd., Birmingham, AL\nWhy You Need To Go: Experience an authentic slice of Japanese culture right in Alabama!\nWebsite\nWe strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.