The Torii Gate – The Torii is a traditional Japanese gate commonly found at the entry to a Shinto shrine and marks the entrance to a sacred space. The original Torii Gate was a gift to the City of Oakland in 1969 from the Junior Chamber of Commerce of Fukuoka, Japan, Oakland’s sister city. The gate was rebuilt in 2002 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the sister city relationship.

The Torii Gate and Our Sister City

The large vermillion Torii gate serves as a landmark for the entire Gardens of Lake Merritt. Located at the end of the back entry path and at the edge of the forested heart of the garden, it represents the inward journey from the profane to the sacred. The original Torii Gate was a gift […]

New Neighbors Move In

The Gardens at Lake Merritt are well-known as a showcase for many species of flora.  Recently, a leaky, resource-wasting water feature– designed in a day when few questioned the constant draining, cleaning and refilling involved in maintaining decorative ponds– was transformed into a habitat for several species of  fauna– dragonflies, damselflies and tree frogs.

What started as […]

Earth Day with HandsOn Bay Area

We had a great work day on Saturday, April 17 in the Torii Gate Garden with volunteers of all ages.

The group was comprised primarily of a team from PG&E.

The major focus of our work was beginning a new stone beach for the pond in the garden.

Volunteers also did some excavation to install some electric conduit, and general weeding.

Everyone pitched in and […]