Hakone Gardens: The Centennial Gala

Stroll the Saratoga expanse after its typical closing hour.

A FULL MOON... is always a magical occurrence, and it matters not the vantage point from which we gaze up to enjoy it. We might be sitting in traffic, or walking through a parking lot, and the light from above still finds a way to cast a spell. Now imagine experiencing this once-a-month moment from a place that suits the spell being cast and the general enchantment surrounding our lunar satellite. And to go a bit further, imagine that this place is not open in the evenings, so a chance to stand inside of it, during a full moon, is doubly special. No more imagining needed: It's the Hakone Estate & Gardens we're building up to here, and it is heading for a grand party that will take place, at night, under the moon's gentle illumination. That celebration? Why, it's the historic spread's...

CENTENNIAL GALA: Surely you know that the Saratoga nature-nice landmark is "one of the oldest Japanese estate, retreat, and gardens in the Western Hemisphere." It debuted a century ago, and the current stewards are taking a three-year window to spotlight its auspicious anniversary. The Sunday, Sept. 18 gala is one of those centerpiece celebrations, one that will include speakers, a taiko demonstration, and a silent auction. There shall be cuisine, and sake to sip, too, and strolling the lush, bamboo-beautiful grounds as the sun goes down will likely be on many a reveler's evening schedule. 

THE SITE... is part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, thanks in large part to the efforts of Major Charles Lee Tilden, a former owner of the property, and James Sasaki, a masterful gardener who lovingly tended the sizable expanse for nearly 30 years. The Centennial Gala will honor both legacies, as well as the bright future of the gardens and estate. Call that future moon-bright, if you like, in honor of the party's magical source of light.

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