Monte Palace Gardens, Madeira.
Monte Palace gardens on the Island of Madeira can be reached by cable car from the Funchal seafront.
The views from the cable car are amazing. The Japanese gardens are set within mature gardens containing plants from all over the world. Many large koi carp swim through a series of pools, and there are beautiful flowers and trees. There is a variety of tea houses, bridges, pagodas, etc. The gardens are set in a valley with steps down and back up again, but there is now transport back to the top for people who find stairs difficult.
There are some amazing 1000 year old olive trees at the entrance to Monte Palace Gardens, which were transferred from mainland Portugal when a hydroelectric dam was being built where they were originally growing.
Madeira also has a huge botanical gardens, easily reached by bus or taxi, with an outstandinging array of trees and plants from around the world, as well as plants native to Madeira. The gardens are terraced down a hillside, so it is on a series of gentle slopes. There is a cafe half way down and access to buses and taxis at the exit.
While in Madeira you should also visit Palheiro Gardens, by the golf course.
Santa Catarina Park above the harbour, and the Municipal Park in the centre of Funchal, are beautiful free gardens.
Japanese Gardens within Belem Tropical Gardens, Lisbon, Portugal.
This is a free garden, which also has bonsai trees!
Japanese Gardens within Samares Manor Gardens, Jersey, Channel Islands.
Don't forget to visit the Japanese Gardens at Tatton Park, Cheshire, beautiful throughout the year!!