The arched, bright red bridge in the garden is modeled after a bridge in Nikko, Japan. The Tea House, named Wa-Raku-Tae (peaceful, amiable tea ceremony house in nature), was dedicated in 1992 by Major General Mikio Kimata, who also directed the building of the Bridge of Friendship in Big Spring Park in the 1960s.

When we left Monte Sano and headed back down into the city, TOR treated us to a drive around Big Spring International Park, which is built over an underground spring that provided water to original Huntsville area settlers. Beautifully landscaped and sunny, the park is also home to the Huntsville Museum of Art and the Von Braun Center. Major Kimata’s Bridge of Friendship is one of many gifts to the people of Huntsville and their park from cities around the world.

By 3:00, we’d once again filled our day with plenty of planned and unplanned tidbits and travels, so we headed back towards Birmingham.

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