EBM Japanese Garden a Long Beach Secret Worth Sharing

The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden on the Cal State-Long Beach campus provides visitors with some of the most unexpectedly gorgeous views in all the city.

Earlier this month T and I met up with his former preschool on a field trip to the Earl Burns Miller (EBM) Japanese Garden at Cal State-Long Beach (CSULB). Located just about a half-mile from the CSULB campus, the preschool takes a walking trip to the garden once a summer (or has the last three that we’ve been affiliated with the school), and I thought ahead and found out when they’d be going this season so that if T wanted he could have a mini-reunion with his former school mates. Since concluding his two-year stint in preschool at the end of June, T had just asked about some of his school buddies recently, so this was a perfectly timed opportunity to go and see them but without the confusion of returning to the school’s campus – and we got to visit one of Long Beach’s most picturesque locations in all the city as a beautiful bonus!

Signage on CSULB’s campus clearly marks what’s hidden behind these bushes: The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden.

T and his former school director (who was also his first-year teacher) on his last day at preschool in June 2012. Sorry it’s so blurry – I was a little choked up and it’s on my iPhone, so I was doubly challenged to take a decent photo!

T catches up with one of his former school buddies during a recent trip to the EBM Japanese Garden at CSULB. It really was a coincidence that T wore the same colored T-shirt as the school tops this day; he picks his own outfits now, and it didn’t even occur to me that he’d match until we arrived!

T and his former preschool chums look over a bridge at a waterfall and stream running through the EBM Japanese Garden at CSULB.

T hugs one of his friends during our recent reunion with his preschool at the EBM Japanese Garden at CSULB.

Before the school group wrapped up their field trip to the EBM Japanese Garden at CSULB, T ran over to the line and gave another friend a hug goodbye. I am so glad we went as T really loved seeing all his old friends!

I am glad we made time in our schedule to pop in and say hello to T’s friends and teachers. Not only did T have a great time seeing everyone and feeding the fish, but we also got to see the gorgeous green gardens on this very clear and not terribly hot summer day. It really was a lovely 45 minutes spent between our regular routine of the gym and lunchtime/ mid-day break. Our visit also reminded me that this is a place that we used to go at least once or twice per year, and it definitely had been longer than this since we’d been last; note to self that it’s time to put the EBM Japanese Garden back into our family’s “what are we going to do today?!” outing rotation!

I made sure to review the rules for the EBM Japanese Garden at CSULB with T before we entered. It was nice to have these so clearly posted at the entrance path before turning the corner into the formal garden area, and it really did help believe it or not (!).

T and friends overlook the main pond area at the EBM Japanese Garden at CSULB.

It was a feeding frenzy at the EBM Japanese Garden koi pond! The kids were really great at taking turns in small groups so they could go right down to the water’s edge and feed the fish close-up.

Go see the EBM Japanese Garden at CSULB before summer ends, RMT’ers!

Located on the CSULB campus, EBM Japanese Garden is open to the public five days a week (closed Mondays and Saturdays and for private special events; check the calendar of events and this page for other general visitor information). Admission is always FREE, and parking is a modest cost at one of the half-dozen or so dedicated one-hour meters across from the entrance (still on campus), so just remember to bring a few quarters along in your pocket. You’ll also want to remember your change so you can get some fish food inside the garden for the koi, too (bring your own container to hold the fish pellets also).

According to the website, this is a tsukubai. Located in front of the tea house at the EBM Japanese Garden, this stone water basin is used for traditional symbolic purification before the tea ceremony.

One more tip, RMT’ers: CSULB returns for Fall 2012 session on Monday August 20 (one week from today!), so this week would be a great time to stroll through the garden before the secret’s out and the garden (and its parking meters and the campus in general) becomes busier with new and returning students.