Through a partnership with Tacoma's Sister City Kitakyushu, the garden will receive an updated design plan reflective of Japanese landscaping traditions and cultural heritage.
Planning and fundraising began in 2012. Since then, Metro Parks hired The Portico Group to evaluate not only the garden but the area around the Point Defiance Pagoda in the context of the Point Defiance Park Master Plan Update, which was approved in late 2015. The plans also include a new pedestrian/cyclist path. A delegation of Metro Park’s staff and Sister City liaisons traveled to Japan for a study trip funded by a grant from the Japanese Foundation through Sister City International. Working with Kitakyushu City staff and master garden designers from the Kitakyushu Greenery Association, (KGA) a preliminary landscape design for the garden project was created.