Gardens

Kyoto’s gardens are among its most enduring attractions. More meditative than decorative, exhibiting a distinctive (mostly minimal) aesthetic that reveals both seasonal and timeless features. KJ contributing editor Marc Peter Keane is a recognized expert and prolific author on Japanese garden design, providing many insights into how Japanese society has traditionally coexisted with nature.

 

www.mpkeane.com

The Japanese Garden Database

Stroll through the gardens of Kyoto virtually:
Kyoto Gardens
The Bowdoin College Japanese Garden website, includes gardens in Kyoto, Nara and Kanazawa.

 


Kyoto’s Four Seasons
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by Hidehiko Mizuno

 
Advice to young garden designers in Kyoto:

Of course I am all for the conventional ways of learning. Visit many gardens, study Buddhist sculpture carefully, drink deep of history and all forms of traditional culture, and read, read, read. But don’t forget drinking. When you wander through town under the influence you become aware of all sorts of things in traditional construction that you couldn’t see before. They were meant to be discovered with the aid of sake.

—Sano Toemon
KJ 16 Kyoto Speaks

 

Gardens

On July 25, 2011 By

Gardens

Kyoto’s gardens are among its most enduring attractions. More meditative than decorative, exhibiting a distinctive (mostly minimal) aesthetic that reveals both seasonal and timeless features. KJ contributing editor Marc Peter Keane is a recognized expert and prolific author on Japanese garden design, providing many insights into how Japanese society has traditionally coexisted with […]

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Space Tunnels

On October 5, 2011 By

BY GUNTER NITSCHKE

The original site of Shisen-do isn’t physically expansive, however the experience of its entrance passageway creates an impression of deep space. One third of the site appears unused or “wasted” just on the approach.

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The Art of Setting Stones

On October 3, 2011 By

BY MARC P. KEANE

In Japan, garden materials—plants, stones, lanterns, and the like—make rounds through gardens like bees at flowers, and though their journey is less fleet, like them they occupy any one spot only temporarily. Those that remain in place for centuries are rare; most are destined by the vagaries of history to a more transient life.

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Bontei

On September 25, 2011 By

BY MARC P. KEANE

In making these tray gardens, I simplify Japanese gardens, creating sculptures that feature only certain elements drawn from those gardens — a stillness or a motion; a sense of time or one of timelessness; a certain color, texture or balance of parts…

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Gardener

On August 11, 2011 By

INTERVIEW BY IAN PERLMAN

In the center of Maruyama Park there is a very large cherry tree… It was cultivated by the grandfather of Sano Tōemon, the sixteenth generation of a line of Sagano gardeners.

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Japanese Courtyard Gardens

On April 18, 2011 By

BY MARC P. KEANE

The tsubo garden is contained inside a building, like a jewel in a box…

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