Osaka Japanese Gardens at Jackson Park

Ever since I read Devil in the White City, I’ve been a bit obsessed with the World’s Columbian Exposition aka the 1893 World Fair in Chicago. It’s so amazing to read about what was built just for that one moment in time. I wish more remnants of the World Fair were still around on the South Side. One such remnant are the Osaka Japanese Gardens on Wooded Island at Jackson Park. Yes, there’s a small, hidden island on the south side of Chicago. The island sits just south of the Museum of Science and Industry, and features a waterfall, bridge and Tea House.

Frances and I headed there for an impromptu Sunday afternoon walk to enjoy the fall colors. By the time we got there, the sun was starting to set, which lit the fall leaves with a golden light….but which also made the seemingly deserted island a bit creepy. Luckily, as we approached the actual Japanese gardens, we started to see other people exploring as well.

We managed to sneak in a visit before night fell. Although, Frances later heard that the island is a hotspot for shady activity and was possible the scene of a murder (or murders). So, I wouldn’t recommend going there alone or near dusk.

Also, as we drove down Lake Shore Drive, I noticed that the Field Museum is featuring an exhibit about the World Fair so I will definitely be checking that out!


  1. ha yes, that was the first thing that came to mind – are you going to the exhibit on the 1893 Fair then?? Doug actually wants to go haha. Here until next September I believe. I really did try to look for the garden before (from the car) and didn’t find it.

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