Culminating seven years of planning and work, the garden represents a joint effort of the Olympia-Yashiro Sister City Association and the City of Olympia. The garden is symbolic of the ties between Olympia and Yashiro, Japan. Dedication of the garden was May 6, 1990, following a two-year construction effort of 75 volunteers.
Robert Murase's park design defines a true Japanese garden as "a visionary expression about our connectedness to nature and earth." The specific placement of plants, water and stone carries a message of land stewardship, nature, religious thought, friendship, compassion, cultural exchange and understanding.