Chicago Botanic Garden
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Japanese Gardens in Chicago
Far from the madding crowd, Japan has quietly nestled in Illinois. There are other Japanese gardens in the U.S., but here—this is another kind of serenity. There is a zigzag bridge, and small huts with notes that explain how bonsai works. The lake and the array of plants at Chicago Botanic Garden is exquisite. I was too early to see the trees in full bloom when I visited, but there were promises of green, and geese and bees flew by. The very picture of stillness and idyll. The enormous gardens are free to enter, aside from a fee for parking. It's very easy to take a bus into Cook County and get dropped off right in front of the garden.
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