Sakura Watch

Stay tuned for the latest updates and photos on the Sen Cherry Tree Allée for Spring 2023. Follow Japan House on Facebook or Instagram and share your photos by tagging @japanhouseuofi or #japanhouseuofi! As of March 24, nighttime temperatures are hovering around freezing so they are holding on tight! If they open too quickly, they risk being burnt by the freeze, which will negatively affect the blooms. Please be patient with slow growth as we head into April.

Visitor Safety and Etiquette

  • Be respectful of other visitors and the gardens
  • Be kind to wildlife - the gardens are their home!
  • Please do not climb the trees or stand in the bushes
  • Please do not pick or step on flowers and other plants
  • Children should be closely supervised and accompanied by an adult guardian
  • Pets must be on leashes
  • Clean up after your pets
  • Do not let pets roam in the tea garden or dry rock garden
  • Garbage cans are located at the North and South Parking lots - please do not litter and take your trash with you!
  • Please stay on the paths
  • Please stay out of the dry rock garden
  • Please do not put rocks in the tsukubai (water feature in tea garden)
  • Fishing and swimming are not allowed
  • Do not bring fire, fireworks, furniture, or grills to the gardens
  • Smoking is prohibited on all campus property at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
  • Please do not carve, deface, or nail anything into garden fixtures. Acts of vandalism or unsafe behavior should be reported to Public Safety at 217-333-1216
  • Bike racks are available at both North and South parking lots. For accessibility, please do not leave bikes in the gardens or block the paths. Bikes and strollers should not be brought through the tea garden.

We ask that visitors be respectful to our requests to keep you safe and keep the Japan House gardens beautiful! We welcome photography and filming but ask that people be mindful of their actions and surroundings so that everyone can enjoy the gardens. The building is not open to the public as it is a university teaching facility and there are no public restrooms in the Arboretum. Please be considerate when making plans to visit. Thank you!

Photography Policy

Visitors are welcome to take photographs and videos for their own personal use and enjoyment. The Japan House gardens cannot be closed off or reserved for private photography sessions or events. Visitors cannot block off or restrict traffic to the tea garden or dry rock garden. To ensure a positive experience for all visitors, please abide by the following photography guidelines:

  • All visitors should remain on garden pathways at all times.
  • Do not disturb or remove plants.
  • Do not block pathways.
  • Do not climb garden fixtures, trees or rocks, enter water areas, or step into garden beds for photos.
  • Please do not bring furniture, decor, and props into the Japanese gardens (e.g. chairs, confetti poppers, balloons)
  • Japan House is not responsible for loss, theft, or damage to equipment.
  • Drone aerial photography must abide by University of Illinois public safety guidelines for drones


For Japan House's 10th Anniversary in 2008, Dr. Genshitsu Sen, the 15th generation head of the Urasenke Tea School in Japan, donated 50 cherry trees to Japan House. There are three varieties of cherry trees: Yoshino (Prunus × yedoensis), Sargent (Prunus sargentii), and weeping (Prunus subhirtella var. pendula). They were planted under the direction of his gardener, Katsuo Kubo, who visited Japan House, to create the Sen Cherry Tree Allée.

Katsuo Kubo planting a cherry tree!

Dr. Sen visits Japan House for its 10th Anniversary.

Each year, visitors come to appreciate the marvelous growth and fleeting beauty of the cherry trees!

Getting to Japan House