There is a very interesting history of Japanese gardens. Here’s a taster of some of Japan’s finest examples of what I think is a ‘ historical artform’…The Japanese Garden.
Kyoto is a Japanese city that has perhaps the greatest concentration of Japanese gardens. Here are the ones to visit or read up about:
Kyoto Imperial Palace- this was home to the Japanese emperor until 1868
Nijo Castle- the Kyoto residence of the Tokugawa shogun
Nanzenji- A Zen temple with a beautiful serene stone garden
Ryoanji- Japans most famous Zen temple with a stunning rock garden
Daitokuji- a large complex of Zen temples
Katsura villa- a villa with a Japanese garden
Tenryuji- This is a temple in the Arashiyama area of Kyoto
Daigoji- This famous temple is in the south-east of Kyoto
Byodoin- A fine example of a land garden from the Heian period of Japanese history.
Each period of Japanese history saw a change in Japanese garden design and construction, and outside influences most notably from china shaped the evolution of the Japanese garden.
There are fine examples of Japanese gardens all over the world but this article is concentrating on Japan’s finest creations. Outside of Kyoto there are some wonderful gardens to enjoy.
Yokohama- Sankeien, is a really spacious beautiful Japanese garden.
Kamakura- the Zuisenji Temple- most famous for it’s Zen gardens.
Mito- Kairakuen garden which has 3000 plum trees!
Hiraizumi- Motsuji garden, this has a temple and pure land garden.
Inuyama- Urakuen garden, this garden has a magnificent Tea ceremony house.
Yoshino- Chikurin-in Temple, a Ryokan temple with a stunning garden.
Kobe- right in the city centre is the Sorakuen garden. It’s a landscaped garden.
Himeji- the Kokoen garden is right next to the Himeji castle.
Hiroshima- this city has as you know a history but it also has a fantastic Japanese garden.
Yamaguchi- has a really famous Zen garden at Joeiji Temple.
Dazaifu- Another beautiful Zen garden at Komyozenji.
Kumamoto- Suizenji Koen, a landscape garden that reproduces the Tokaido.
Kagoshima- Senganen is an amazing Japanese style landscaped garden.
Naha- this was the second residence of the second Ryukyu Kings and the garden is called Shikinaen.
If you ever get to travel to Japan, try and visit at least some of these spectacular gardens. It’s fairly easy to get around Japan as they have a marvellous public transport system- so make good use of it! I hope you have found this information useful