There are several public Japanese gardens tucked away in the Seattle area. One of the best is found in the Washington Park Arboretum near the University of Washington. Entrance fees are reasonable and parking is free. Do be careful since the parking lot is a high car prowl area. The setting is peaceful and relaxing. You'll find a large central pond with numerous "waterfront" areas to sit, paint, or take pictures (professionals will need a permit). Don't forget to buy fish food at the entrance so that you can feed the numerous large carp that congregate near the bridges.