There are very few Japanese gardens in the city. Such gardens require some amount of space for winding paths and quiet environs for comtemplation, something which the city sorely lacks. The Japanese garden in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden offers one opportunity to experience such a garden, with a nice pond, small waterfall, and a wood pavilion. A little more hidden and out of the way is the John P. Humes Japanese Garden on the North Shore of Long Island. Inspired by a visit to Kyoto in the 1960’s, John Humes turned a corner of his estate into a Japanese garden. He hired a Japanese landscape designer to design the garden and to ensure that the proper foliage and other Japanese elements were in place, including a tea house that was brought over from Japan. This garden provides a nice escape from the bustle of the city. It is most definitely a strolling garden, with moss-covered paths, stepping stones, and shady Japanese maples.
On some Saturdays, you can catch a tea ceremony demonstration at the teahouse. Check out their events calendar for times.
If tea is not your thing, you can also just watch the koi in the nearby pond.
The garden is at the corner of Oyster Bay Road and Dogwood Lane in Mill Neck, NY. It is best reached by car, but you can also get there by taking the LIRR to Oyster Bay station. The garden is a short cab ride from the station. This year, the garden is open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays until October 27, from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is $10. Dogs are not allowed.