No garden room has a richer history than the charming Japanese Garden. In the 1960s, the Atlanta Bonsai Society started a Japanese Garden on the site of the current one – long before the botanical garden was even established. Largely consisting of bonsai plants, it was then part of Piedmont Park. The society eventually gave it up. In 1980, the newly established Garden restored this site, replaced its white sand representing "pools" with a small pond and added stone walls and fences. The current design combines several styles of traditional Japanese gardens, including elements of hill-and-pond, courtyard and tea gardens. On the ground is a chozubachi stone basin used as a purification ritual before a tea ceremony, and the tea garden includes a waiting bench for reflecting and enjoying the garden.
The Moon Gate provides a vista through the garden. By design, nearly all plantings are green, except for spring-blooming azaleas and irises, and maples that change color in the fall. A large Virginia pine provides a focal point, along with trees such as Japanese maples (Acer palmatum), dwarf conifers and weeping Japanese persimmons. Just outside the gate is a collection of rare harp-string Nandina, bamboo popular in Japan from the 1600s to 1800s.
The Japanese Garden is a popular location for intimate weddings.