Japanese gardens (日本庭園, nihon teien) are traditional
gardens whose designs are accompanied by Japanese aesthetic and
philosophical ideas, avoid artificial ornamentation, and highlight the
natural landscape. Plants and worn, aged materials are generally used
Japanese garden designers to suggest an ancient and faraway natural
landscape, and to express the fragility of existence as well as time's
Japanese art inspired past garden designers. By the Edo
Japanese garden had its own distinct appearance.
1.2 In antiquity
1.3 Gardens of the
Nara period (710-794)
1.4 Gardens of the
Heian period (794–1185)
Kamakura and Muromachi Periods (1185–1573)
1.6 The Momoyama Period (1568–1600)
Edo Period (1615–1867)
1.8 Meiji Period (1868–1912)
1.9 Modern Japanese gardens (1912 to present)
2.2 Rocks and sand
2.4 Stone lanterns and water basins
Garden fences, gates, and devices
2.6 Trees and flowers
3 Aesthetic principles
4 Differences between Japanese and Chinese gardens
5.1 Chisen-shoyū-teien or pond garden
5.2 The Paradise Garden
Karesansui dry rock gardens
5.4 Roji, or tea gardens
5.5 Kaiyū-shiki-teien, or promenade gardens
5.6 Tsubo-niwa courtyard garden
5.7 Hermitage garden
6 Literature and art of the Japanese garden
6.2 Gardens in literature and poetry
6.3 Philosophy, painting, and the Japanese garden
7 Noteworthy Japanese gardens
7.1 In Japan
7.2 In English-speaking nations
7.2.3 United Kingdom
7.2.5 United States
7.3 In other countries
8 See also
9 Sources and citations
11 External links
The idea of these unique gardens began during the Asuka period.
Japanese merchants witnessed the gardens that were being built in
China, and brought many of the Chinese gardening techniques and styles
back to Japan. Today, the tradition of
Japanese garden art is still
popular around the world, with many eastern and western practitioners
expressing themselves through the medium.
Ise Jingu, a
Shinto shrine begun in the 7th century, surrounded by
Japanese gardens first appeared on the island of Honshu, the large
central island of Japan. Their aesthetic was influenced by the
distinct characteristics of the
Honshu landscape: rugged volcanic
peaks, narrow valleys, mountain streams with waterfalls and cascades,
lakes, and beaches of small stones. They were also influenced by the
rich variety of flowers and different species of trees, particularly
evergreen trees, on the islands, and by the four distinct seasons in
Japan, including hot, wet summers and snowy winters.
Japanese gardens have their roots in the Japanese religion of Shinto,
with its story of the creation of eight perfect islands, and of the
shinchi, the lakes of the gods. Prehistoric
Shinto shrines to the
kami, the gods and spirits, are found on beaches and in forests all
over the island. Prehistoric shrines often took the form of unusual
rocks or trees marked with cords of rice fiber (shimenawa) and
surrounded with white stones or pebbles, a symbol of purity. The
white gravel courtyard became a distinctive feature of
Buddhist temples, and zen gardens.
Japanese gardens were also strongly influenced by the Chinese
Daoism and Amida Buddhism, imported from
China in or
around 552 AD.
Daoist legends spoke of five mountainous islands
inhabited by the Eight Immortals, who lived in perfect harmony with
nature. Each Immortal flew from his mountain home on the back of a
crane. The islands themselves were located on the back of an enormous
sea turtle. In Japan, the five islands of the Chinese legend became
one island, called Horai-zen, or Mount Horai. Replicas of this
legendary mountain, the symbol of a perfect world, are a common
feature of Japanese gardens, as are rocks representing turtles and
The earliest recorded Japanese gardens were the pleasure gardens of
the Japanese Emperors and nobles. They are mentioned in several brief
passages of the Nihon Shoki, the first chronicle of Japanese history,
published in 720 AD. In the spring of the year 74 AD, the chronicle
Emperor Keikō put a few carp into a pond, and rejoiced
to see them morning and evening". The following year, "The Emperor
launched a double-hulled boat in the pond of Ijishi at Ihare, and went
aboard with his imperial concubine, and they feasted sumptuously
together". And in 486, "The
Emperor Kenzō went into the garden and
feasted at the edge of a winding stream".
Chinese garden had a very strong influence on early Japanese
gardens. In or around 552 AD, Buddhism was officially installed from
China, via Korea, into Japan. Between 600 and 612, the Japanese
Emperor sent four legations to the Court of the Chinese Sui Dynasty.
Between 630 and 838, the Japanese court sent fifteen more legations to
the court of the Tang Dynasty. These legations, with more than five
hundred members each, included diplomats, scholars, students, Buddhist
monks, and translators. They brought back Chinese writing, art
objects, and detailed descriptions of Chinese gardens.
In 612, the
Empress Suiko had garden built with an artificial
mountain, representing Shumi-Sen, or Mount Sumeru, reputed in Hindu
Buddhist legends to be located at the center of the world. During
the reign of the same Empress, one of her ministers, Soga no Umako,
had a garden built at his palace featuring a lake with several small
islands, representing the islands of the
Eight Immortals famous in
Chinese legends and
Daoist philosophy. This Palace became the property
of the Japanese Emperors, was named "The Palace of the Isles", and was
mentioned several times in the Man'yōshū, the "Collection of
Countless Leaves", the oldest known collection of Japanese poetry.
It appears from the small amount of literary and archeological
evidence available that the Japanese gardens of this time were modest
versions of the Imperial gardens of the Tang Dynasty, with large lakes
scattered with artificial islands and artificial mountains. Pond edges
were constructed with heavy rocks as embankment. While these gardens
Daoist symbolism, they were meant to be pleasure
gardens, and places for festivals and celebrations.
Gardens of the
Nara period (710-794)
Nara Period is named after its capital city Nara. The first
authentically Japanese gardens were built in this city at the end of
the eighth century. Shorelines and stone settings were naturalistic,
different from the heavier, earlier continental mode of constructing
pond edges. Two such gardens have been found at excavations, both of
which were used for poetry-writing festivities.
Gardens of the
Heian period (794–1185)
Phoenix Hall in the garden of Byōdō-in, Kyoto, is a temple of the
Amitābha or school of
Pure Land Buddhism
Pure Land Buddhism (1053)
In 794, at the beginning of the Heian Period, the Japanese court moved
its capital to
Heian-kyō (present-day Kyoto). During this period,
there were three different kinds of gardens; palace gardens and the
gardens of nobles in the capital; the gardens of villas at the edge of
the city; and the gardens of temples.
The architecture of the palaces, residences and gardens in the Heian
period followed Chinese practice. Houses and gardens were aligned on a
north-south axis, with the residence to the north and the ceremonial
buildings and main garden to the south, there were two long wings to
the south, like the arms of an armchair, with the garden between them.
The gardens featured one or more lakes connected by bridges and
winding streams. The south garden of the imperial residences had a
specially Japanese feature; a large empty area of white sand or
gravel. The Emperor was the chief priest of Japan, and the white sand
represented purity, and was a place where the gods could be invited to
visit. The area was used for religious ceremonies, and dances for the
welcoming of the gods.
The layout of the garden itself was strictly determined according to
the principles of traditional Chinese geomancy, or Feng Shui. The
first known book on the art of the Japanese garden, the Sakuteiki
Garden Keeping), written in the 11th century, said:
"It is a good omen to make the stream arrive from the east, to enter
the garden, pass under the house, and then leave from the southeast.
In this way, the water of the blue dragon will carry away all the bad
spirits from the house toward the white tiger."
The Imperial gardens of the
Heian Period were water gardens, where
visitors promenaded in elegant lacquered boats, listening to music,
viewing the distant mountains, singing, reading poetry, painting, and
admiring the scenery of the garden. The social life in the gardens was
memorably described in the classic Japanese novel, the Tales of Genji,
written in about 1005 by Murasaki Shikibu, a lady-in-waiting to the
Empress. The traces of one such artificial lake, Osawa no ike, near
Daikaku-ji Temple in Kyoto, still can be seen. It was built by the
Emperor Saga, who ruled from 809 to 823, and was said to be inspired
Dongting Lake in China. A scaled-down replica of the Kyoto
Imperial Palace of 794 AD, the Heian-jingū, was built in
1895 to celebrate the 1100th birthday of the city. The south garden is
famous for its cherry blossoms in spring, and for azaleas in the early
summer. The west garden is known for the irises in June, and the large
east garden lake recalls the leisurely boating parties of the 8th
century. Near the end of the
Heian period a new garden
architecture style appeared, created by the followers of Pure Land
Buddhism. These were called "Paradise Gardens," built to represent the
legendary Paradise of the West, where the Amida
Buddha ruled. These
were built by noblemen who wanted to assert their power and
independence from the Imperial household, which was growing weaker.
The best surviving example of a Paradise
Byōdō-in in Uji,
near Kyoto. It was originally the villa of Fujiwara Michinaga,
(966-1028), who married his daughters to the sons of the Emperor.
After his death, his son transformed the villa into a temple, and in
1053 built the Hall of Phoenix, which still stands. The Hall is built
in the traditional style of a Chinese
Song Dynasty temple, on an
island in the lake. It houses a gilded statue of the Amithaba Buddha,
looking to the west. In the lake in front of the temple is a small
island of white stones, representing Mount Horai, the home of the
Eight Immortals of the Daoists, connected to the temple by a bridge,
which symbolized the way to paradise. It was designed for mediation
and contemplation, not as a pleasure garden. It was a lesson in Daoist
Buddhist philosophy created with landscape and architecture, and a
prototype for future Japanese gardens.
Notable existing or recreated Heian gardens include:
Kyoto Imperial Palace
Osawa lake in
Kyoto was part of the old imperial gardens of the
Emperor Saga (809-823 AD).
Model of a residence and garden at
Heian-kyō (Kyoto), around 1000 AD.
A 19th-century scaled-down reconstruction of the Heian-jingū, the
Kyoto Imperial Palace
Kyoto Imperial Palace Garden, as it was in 794 AD.
Stepping stones in the garden of the first
Kyoto Imperial Palace.
These stones were originally part of a 16th-century bridge over the
Kamo River, which was destroyed by an earthquake.
Recreated garden of the old
Kyoto Imperial Palace
Kamakura and Muromachi Periods (1185–1573)
Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Pavilion (1398)
The zen rock garden of
Ryōan-ji (late 15th century)
The weakness of the Emperors and the rivalry of feudal warlords
resulted in two civil wars (1156 and 1159), which destroyed most of
Kyoto and its gardens. The capital moved to Kamakura, and then in 1336
back to the Muromachi quarter of Kyoto. The Emperors ruled in name
only; real power was held by a military governor, the shōgun. During
this period, the Government reopened relations with China, which had
been broken off almost three hundred years earlier. Japanese monks
went again to study in China, and Chinese monks came to Japan, fleeing
the Mongol invasions. The monks brought with them a new form of
Buddhism, called simply Zen, or "meditation". The first zen garden in
Japan was built by a Chinese priest in 1251 in Kamakura. Japan
enjoyed a renaissance in religion, in the arts, and particularly in
Many famous temple gardens were built early in this period, including
Kinkaku-ji, The Golden Pavilion, built in 1398, and Ginkaku-ji, The
Silver Pavilion, built in 1482. In some ways they followed Zen
principles of spontaneity, extreme simplicity and moderation, but in
other ways they were traditional Chinese Song-Dynasty Temples; the
upper floors of the Golden Pavilion were covered with gold leaf, and
they were surrounded by traditional water gardens.
The most notable garden style invented in this period was the zen
garden, or Japanese rock garden. One of the finest examples, and one
of the best-known of all Japanese gardens is
Ryōan-ji in Kyoto. This
garden is just 9 meters wide and 24 meters long. It is composed of
white sand carefully raked to suggest water, and fifteen rocks
carefully arranged, like small islands. It is meant to be seen from a
seated position on the porch of the residence the abbot of the
monastery. There have been many debates about what the rocks are
supposed to represent, but, as garden historian Gunter Nitschke wrote,
"The garden at
Ryōan-ji does not symbolize. It does not have the
value of representing any natural beauty that can be found in the
world, real or mythical. I consider it as an abstract composition of
"natural" objects in space, a composition whose function is to incite
Several of the famous zen gardens of
Kyoto were the work of one man;
Musō Soseki (1275–1351). He was a monk, a ninth-generation
descendant of the Emperor Uda. He was also a formidable court
politician, writer and organizer, who armed and financed ships to open
trade with China, and founded an organization called the Five
Mountains, made up of the most powerful
Zen monasteries in Kyoto. He
was responsible for the building of the zen gardens of Nanzen-ji;
Moss Garden); and Tenryū-ji.
Notable gardens of the
Kamakura and Muromachi Periods include:
Kinkaku-ji, (the Golden Pavilion)
Ginkaku-ji, (the Silver Pavilion)
Ginkaku-ji, or the Silver Pavilion, in Kyoto, was (and is) a Zen
Buddhist temple. (1482).
The zen rock garden of
Ginkaku-ji features a miniature mountain shaped
like Mount Fuji.
The garden of
Daisen-in Kyoto. (1513)
Nanzen-ji garden, Kyoto, built by Musō Soseki. Not all zen gardens
were made of rock and sand; monks here contemplated a forest scene.
Tenryū-ji garden in Kyoto. The Sogen pond, created by Musō Soseki,
is one of the few surviving features of the original garden.
The Momoyama Period (1568–1600)
The garden at
Tokushima Castle (1592) on the island of Shikoku
features water and enormous rocks. It was meant to be seen from above,
from a viewing pavilion.
Momoyama period was short, just 32 years, and was largely occupied
with the wars between the daimyōs, the leaders of the feudal Japanese
clans. The new centers of power and culture in
Japan were the
fortified castles of the daimyōs, around which new cities and gardens
appeared. The characteristic garden of the period featured one or more
ponds or lakes next to the main residence, or shoin, not far from the
castle. These gardens were meant to be seen from above, from the
castle or residence. The daimyōs had developed the skills of cutting
and lifting large rocks to build their castles, and they had armies of
soldiers to move them. The artificial lakes were surrounded by beaches
of small stones and decorated with arrangements of boulders, with
natural stone bridges and stepping stones. The gardens of this period
combined elements of a promenade garden, meant to be seen from the
winding garden paths, with elements of the zen garden, such as
artificial mountains, meant to be contemplated from a distance.
The most famous garden of this kind, built in 1592, is situated near
Tokushima castle on the island of Shikoku. Its notable features
include a bridge 10.5 meters long made of two natural stones.
Another notable garden of the period still existing is Sanbō-in,
Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1598 to celebrate the festival of the
cherry blossom, and to recreate the splendor of an ancient garden.
Three hundred garden-builders worked on the project, digging the lakes
and installing seven hundred boulders in a space of 540 square meters.
The garden was designed to be seen from the veranda of the main
pavilion, or from the "Hall of the Pure View", located on a higher
elevation in the garden.
In the east of the garden, on a peninsula, is an arrangement of stones
designed to represent the mythical Mount Horai. A wooden bridge leads
to an island representing a crane, and a stone bridge connects this
island to another representing a tortoise. which is connected by an
earth-covered bridge back to the peninsula. The garden also includes a
waterfall at the foot of a wooded hill. One characteristic of the
Momoyama period garden visible at
Sanbō-in is the close proximity of
the buildings to the water.
The Momoyama Period also saw the development of the chanoyu (tea
ceremony), the chashitsu (teahouse), and the roji (tea garden). Tea
had been introduced to
Buddhist monks, who used it
as a stimulant to keep awake during long periods of meditation. The
first great tea master,
Sen no Rikyū (1522–1591), defined in the
most minute detail the appearance and rules of the tea house and tea
garden, following the principle of wabi (侘び) "sober refinement and
Following Sen no Rikyū's rules, the teahouse was supposed to suggest
the cottage of a hermit-monk. It was a small and very plain wooden
structure, often with a thatched roof, with just enough room inside
for two tatami mats. The only decoration allowed inside a scroll with
an inscription and a branch of a tree. It did not have a view of the
The garden was also small, and constantly watered to be damp and
green. It usually had a cherry tree or elm to bring color in the
spring, but otherwise did not have bright flowers or exotic plants
that would distract the attention of the visitor. A path led to the
entrance of the tea house. Along the path was waiting bench for guests
and a privy, and a stone water-basin near the tea house, where the
guests rinsed their hands and mouths before entering the tea room
through a small, square door called nijiri-guchi, or "crawling-in
entrance", which requires bending low to pass through. Sen no Rikyū
decreed that the garden should be left unswept for several hours
before the ceremony, so that leaves would be scattered in a natural
way on the path.
Notable gardens of the period include:
Tokushima Castle garden on the island of Shikoku.
Tai-an tea house at Myōki-an Temple in Kyoto, built in 1582 by Sen no
Sanbō-in at Daigo-ji, in
Kyoto Prefecture (1598)
Garden at the
Tokushima Castle, dominated by rocks
The garden at
Daigo-ji (1598) is famous for its cherry blossoms.
Edo Period (1615–1867)
The garden of
Katsura Imperial Villa
Katsura Imperial Villa in
Kyoto (1641-1662), the
prototype for the promenade, or stroll garden
The interior of the Geppa Pavilion of the Katsura Imperial Villa,
perfectly integrated into the garden
Edo period, power was won and consolidated by the Tokugawa
clan, who became the Shoguns, and moved the capital to Edo, which
became Tokyo. During this time, Japan, except for the port of
Nagasaki, was virtually closed to foreigners, and Japanese were not
allowed to travel to any country except
China or the Netherlands. The
Emperor remained in
Kyoto as a figurehead leader, with authority only
over cultural and religious affairs. While the political center of
Japan was now Tokyo,
Kyoto remained the cultural capital, the center
for religion and art. The Shoguns provided the Emperors with little
power, but with generous subsidies for building gardens.
Edo period saw the widespread use of a new kind of Japanese
architecture, called Sukiya-zukuri, which means literally "building
according to chosen taste". The term first appeared at the end of the
16th century referring to isolated tea houses. It originally applied
to the simple country houses of samurai warriors and
but in the
Edo period it was used in every kind of building, from
houses to palaces.
The Sukiya style was used in the most famous garden of the period, the
Katsura Imperial Villa
Katsura Imperial Villa in Kyoto. The buildings were built in a very
simple, undecorated style, a prototype for future Japanese
architecture. They opened up onto the garden, so that the garden
seemed entirely part of the building. Whether the visitor was inside
or outside of the building, he always had a feeling he was in the
center of nature. The garden buildings were arranged so that were
always seen from a diagonal, rather than straight on. This arrangement
had the poetic name ganko, which meant literally "a formation of wild
geese in flight".
Most of the gardens of the
Edo Period were either promenade gardens or
dry rock zen gardens, and they were usually much larger than earlier
gardens. The promenade gardens of the period made extensive use of
borrowing of scenery ("shakkei"). Vistas of distant mountains are
integrated in the design of the garden; or, even better, building the
garden on the side of a mountain and using the different elevations to
attain views over landscapes outside the garden.
Edo promenade gardens
were often composed of a series of meisho, or "famous views", similar
to postcards. These could be imitations of famous natural landscapes,
like Mount Fuji, or scenes from Taoist or
Buddhist legends, or
landscapes illustrating verses of poetry. Unlike zen gardens, they
were designed to portray nature as it appeared, not the internal rules
Shugakuin Imperial Villa
Kōraku-en (Tokyo), (1629)
Sanzen-in, north of Kyoto
Sengan-en, Kagoshima (1658)
Chishaku-in, southeast of Kyoto
Jōju-in, in the temple of Kiyomizu, southeast of Kyoto. (1688–1703)
Manshu-in, northeast of
Nanzen-ji, east of Kyoto. (1688–1703)
The hermitage garden of the poet and scholar Ishikawa Jozan at
Shisen-dō, built in 1641. It later became a temple.
The north garden at
Ninna-ji in Kyoto, a classic promenade garden
The south garden at Ninna-ji, a zen rock garden
Garden in Tokyo, begun in 1629, is now surrounded
by office buildings.
The most famous view of Suizen-ji is a miniature mountain resembling
Meiji Period (1868–1912)
Meiji period saw the modernization of Japan, and the re-opening of
Japan to the west. Many of the old private gardens had been abandoned
and left to ruin. In 1871, a new law transformed many gardens from the
Edo period into public parks, preserving them. Garden
designers, confronted with ideas from the West experimented with
western styles, leading to such gardens as Kyu-Furukawa Gardens, or
Shinjuku Gyoen. Others, more in the north of
Japan kept to
blueprint design. A third wave was the naturalistic style of gardens,
invented by captains of industry and powerful politicians like Aritomo
Yamagata. Many gardeners soon were designing and constructing gardens
catering to this taste. One of the gardens well-known for his
technical perfection in this style was Ogawa Jihei VII, also known as
Notable gardens of this period include:
Kenroku-en, 18th and 19th centuries, finished in 1874.
Tokyo in 1877.
Murin-an in Kyoto, finished 1898.
Kenroku-en in Kanazawa
Chinzan-so in Tokyo
Murin-an in Kyoto
Modern Japanese gardens (1912 to present)
During the Showa period (1926–1988), many traditional gardens were
built by businessmen and politicians. After World War II, the
principal builders of gardens were no longer private individuals, but
banks, hotels, universities and government agencies. The Japanese
garden became an extension of the architecture of the building. New
gardens were designed by architecture school graduates, and often used
modern building materials, such as concrete.
Some modern Japanese gardens, such as Tōfuku-ji, designed by Mirei
Shigemori, were inspired by classical models. Other modern gardens
have taken a much more radical approach to the traditions. One example
is Awaji Yumebutai, a garden on the island of Awaji, in the Seto
Inland Sea of Japan, designed by Tadao Ando. It was built as part of a
resort and conference center on a steep slope, where land had been
stripped away to make an island for an airport.
Tōfuku-ji, A modern
Japanese garden from 1934, designed by Mirei
Shigemori, built on grounds of a 13th-century
Zen temple in Kyoto
The moss garden at Tōfuku-ji, Kyoto
Japanese garden at the
Kochi Museum of Art
The garden at the Naoshima Fukutake Art Museum, using sculpture to
imitate the form of island on the horizon
Garden of the Adachi Museum of Art
Awaji Yumebutai, a contemporary garden on the island of Awaji, Hyōgo
Shell beach garden, part of the
Awaji Yumebutai on the island of
Awaji, Hyōgo (2000)
Jissō-in rock garden in Iwakura (Kyoto), reformed in 2013.
Japanese Garden, Chandigarh
Japanese Garden, Chandigarh (India)
The ability to capture the essence of nature makes the Japanese
gardens distinctive and appealing to observers. Traditional Japanese
gardens are very different in style from occidental gardens. The
contrast between western flower gardens and Japanese gardens is
profound. "Western gardens are typically optimised for visual appeal
while Japanese gardens are modelled with spiritual and philosophical
ideas in mind." Japanese gardens have always been conceived as a
representation of a natural setting. The Japanese have always had a
spiritual connection with their land and the spirits that are one with
nature, which explains why they prefer to incorporate natural
materials in their gardens. Traditional Japanese gardens can be
categorized into three types: tsukiyama (hill gardens), karesansui
(dry gardens) and chaniwa gardens (tea gardens). The main purpose of a
Japanese garden is to attempt to be a space that captures the natural
beauties of nature.
The small space given to create these gardens usually poses a
challenge for the gardeners. Due to the absolute importance of the
arrangement of natural rocks and trees, finding the right material
becomes highly selective. The serenity of a Japanese landscape and the
simple but deliberate structures of the Japanese gardens are what
truly make the gardens unique. "The two main principles incorporated
Japanese garden are scaled reduction and symbolization."
Nanzen-ji garden in Kyoto
Japanese gardens always have water, either a pond or stream, or, in
the dry rock garden, represented by white sand. In
water and stone are the yin and yang, two opposites that complement
and complete each other. A traditional garden will usually have an
irregular-shaped pond or, in larger gardens, two or more ponds
connected by a channel or stream, and a cascade, a miniature version
of Japan's famous mountain waterfalls.
In traditional gardens, the ponds and streams are carefully placed
Buddhist geomancy, the art and science of putting things
in the place most likely to attract good fortune. The rules for the
placement of water were laid out in the first manual of Japanese
gardens, the Sakuteiki, or "The Creation of Gardens", in the 11th
century (see "Literature" below). According to the Sakuteiki, the
water should enter the garden from the east or southeast and flow
toward the west because the east is the home of the Green Dragon
(seiryu) an ancient Chinese divinity adapted in Japan, and the west is
the home of the White Tiger, the divinity of the east. Water flowing
from east to west will carry away evil, and the owner of the garden
will be healthy and have a long life. According to the Sakuteiki,
another favorable arrangement is for the water to flow from north,
which represents water in
Buddhist cosmology, to the south, which
represents fire, which are opposites (yin and yang) and therefore will
bring good luck.
Sakuteiki recommends several possible miniature landscapes using
lakes and streams: the "ocean style", which features rocks that appear
to have been eroded by waves, a sandy beach, and pine trees; the
"broad river style", recreating the course of a large river, winding
like a serpent; the "marsh pond" style, a large still pond with
aquatic plants; the "mountain torrent style", with many rocks and
cascades; and the "rose letters" style, an austere landscape with
small, low plants, gentle relief and many scattered flat rocks.
Traditional Japanese gardens have small islands in the lakes. In
sacred temple gardens, there is usually an island which represents
Mount Penglai or Mount Hōrai, the traditional home of the Eight
Sakuteiki describes different kinds of artificial island which can
be created in lakes, including the "mountainous island", made up of
jagged vertical rocks mixed with pine trees, surrounded by a sandy
beach; the "rocky island", composed of "tormented" rocks appearing to
have been battered by sea waves, along with small, ancient pine trees
with unusual shapes; the "cloud island", made of white sand in the
rounded white forms of a cumulus cloud; and the "misty island", a low
island of sand, without rocks or trees.
A cascade or waterfall is an important element in Japanese gardens, a
miniature version of the waterfalls of Japanese mountain streams. The
Sakuteiki described seven kinds of cascades. It notes that if possible
a cascade should face toward the moon and should be designed to
capture the moon's reflection in the water.
Lotus pond at Enjo-ji, a
Heian period paradise garden (12th century)
A winding stream at
Mōtsū-ji garden in Hiraisumi
The spring-fed pond at
Suizen-ji Jōju-en garden, (1636) whose water
was reputed to be excellent for making tea
Fukui Prefecture recreates a miniature beach and a
An island of weathered rocks and a single pine tree in Rikugi-en
Tokyo represents Mount Hōrai, the legendary home of the
An island in
Kōraku-en gardens, Tokyo
Cascade at Keitaku-en garden near Osaka
Rocks and sand
Rock, sand and gravel are an essential feature of the Japanese garden.
A vertical rock may represent Mount Horai, the legendary home of the
Eight Immortals, or
Mount Sumeru of
Buddhist teaching, or a carp
jumping from the water. A flat rock might represent the earth. Sand or
gravel can represent a beach, or a flowing river. Rocks and water also
symbolize yin and yang, (in and yō in Japanese) in Buddhist
philosophy; the hard rock and soft water complement each other, and
water, though soft, can wear away rock.
Rough volcanic rocks (kasei-gan) are usually used to represent
mountains or as stepping stones. Smooth and round sedimentary rocks
(suisei-gan) are used around lakes or as stepping stones. Hard
metamorphic rocks are usually placed by waterfalls or streams. Rocks
are traditionally classified as tall vertical, low vertical, arching,
reclining, or flat. Rocks should vary in size and color but from each
other, but not have bright colors, which would lack subtlety. Rocks
with strata or veins should have the veins all going in the same
direction, and the rocks should all be firmly planted in the earth,
giving an appearance of firmness and permanence. Rocks are arranged in
careful compositions of two, three, five or seven rocks, with three
being the most common. In a three-arrangement, a tallest rock usually
represents heaven, the shortest rock is the earth, and the
medium-sized rock is humanity, the bridge between heaven and earth.
Sometimes one or more rocks, called suteishi, ("nameless" or
"discarded") are placed in seemingly random locations in the garden,
to suggest spontaneity, though their placement is carefully
In ancient Japan, sand (suna) and gravel (jari) were used around
Shinto shrines and
Buddhist temples. Later it was used in the Japanese
rock garden or
Buddhist gardens to represent water or clouds.
White sand represented purity, but sand could also be gray, brown or
Rocks in the
Garden of the Blissful Mountain at Daitoku-ji
Sand in checkerboard pattern at Tōfuku-ji, in Kyoto
Tōfuku-ji garden in Kyoto
Shitenno-ji garden. Note the three-rock composition in the center.
Ankokuji garden in
Hiroshima features rocks of different but
harmonious sizes and colors
Rock composition at
A large flat rock on an island in Korakuen garden in Tokyo, which
represents a turtle's head.
Carefully positioned stones around the pond in Ritsurin Garden.
Combination of checkerboard pattern and watter patterns at the
Negoro-Temple (Negoro-ji), Prefecture Wakayama.
Selection and subsequent placement of rocks was and still is a central
concept in creating an aesthetically pleasing garden by the Japanese.
During the Heian period, the concept of placing stones as symbolic
representations of islands – whether physically existent or
nonexistent – began to take hold, and can be seen in the Japanese
word shima, which is of "particular importance ... because the
word contained the meaning 'island'" Furthermore, the principle of
kowan ni shitagau, or "obeying (or following) the request of an
object", was, and still is, a guiding principle of Japanese rock
design that suggests "the arrangement of rocks be dictated by their
innate characteristics". The specific placement of stones in Japanese
gardens to symbolically represent islands (and later to include
mountains), is found to be an aesthetically pleasing property of
traditional Japanese gardens. Here are some of the aesthetic
principles, as stated by Thoams Heyd:
Stones, which constitute a fundamental part of Japanese gardens, are
carefully selected for their weathering and are placed in such a way
that they give viewers the sense that they ‘naturally’ belong
where they are, and in combinations in which the viewers [sic] find
them. As such, this form of gardening attempts to emblematically
represent (or present) the processes and spaces found in wild nature,
away from city and practical concerns of human life
Rock placement is a general "aim to portray nature in its essential
characteristics" – the essential goal of all Japanese gardens.
while the cult of stones is also central to Japanese gardening … as
stones were part of an aesthetic design and had to be placed so that
their positions appeared natural and their relationships harmonious.
The concentration of the interest on such detail as the shape of a
rock or the moss on a stone lantern led at times to an overemphatic
picturesqueness and accumulation of minor features that, to Western
eyes accustomed to a more general survey, may seem cluttered and
Such attention to detail can be seen at places such as Midori Falls in
Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, as the rocks at
the waterfall's base were changed at various times by six different
In Heian-period Japanese gardens, built in the Chinese model,
buildings occupied as much or more space than the garden. The garden
was designed to be seen from the main building and its verandas, or
from small pavilions built for that purpose. In later gardens, the
buildings were less visible. Rustic teahouses were hidden in their own
little gardens, and small benches and open pavilions along the garden
paths provided places for rest and contemplation. In later garden
architecture, walls of houses and teahouses could be opened to provide
carefully framed views of the garden. The garden and the house became
The symmetrical and highly ornamental architecture of the Phoenix Hall
Byōdō-in Garden, Kyoto, (1052 CE) was inspired by Chinese Song
A chashitsu or teahouse in Jo-an garden in Inuyama, from 1618. The
simple and unadorned zen teahouse style began to be used on all
Japanese buildings, from garden pavilions to palaces. This teahouse
was declared a
National Treasure of Japan
National Treasure of Japan in 1951.
The architecture of the main house of the Katsura Imperial Villa
(1619–1662) was inspired by the simplicity of the tea house.
Bridges first appeared in the
Japanese garden during the Heian period.
Byōdō-in garden in Kyoto, a wooden bridge connects the Phoenix
pavilion with a small island of stones, representing the Mount Penglai
or Mount Horai, the island home of the
Eight Immortals of Daoist
teaching, The bridge symbolized the path to paradise and
Bridges could be made of stone (ishibashi), or of wood, or made of
logs with earth on top, covered with moss (dobashi); they could be
either arched (soribashi) or flat (hirabashi). Sometimes if they were
part of a temple garden, they were painted red, following the Chinese
tradition, but for the most part they were unpainted.
Edo period, when large promenade gardens became popular,
streams and winding paths were constructed, with a series of bridges,
usually in a rustic stone or wood style, to take visitors on a tour of
the scenic views of the garden.
The bridge at
Byōdō-in temple (1052) represented the way to the
island of the immortals, and paradise
A bridge at
Tokushima castle made of two stones resting on a third
Wood and stone bridge at Suizen-ji garden. The garden was begun in
Wooden bridge in Ritsurin Garden, (Between 1642 and 1745)
The Flying Geese Bridge in
Kenroku-en garden (Between 1822 and 1874).
Stone bridge in Koishikawa Kōrakuen
Rustic bridge at Tensha-en garden in Uwajima (1866)
A wooden bridge covered with earth and moss (dobashi) at Sorakuen
a rare covered bridge from the
Garden in Yokohama
Stone lanterns and water basins
For complete article see Tōrō
Japanese stone lanterns (台灯籠, dai-dōrō, "platform lamp") date
back to the
Nara period and the Heian period. Originally they were
located only at
Buddhist temples, where they lined the paths and
approaches to the temple, but in the
Heian period they began to be
Shinto shrines as well. According to tradition, during the
Momoyama period they were introduced to the tea garden by the first
great tea masters, and in later gardens they were used purely for
In its complete and original form, a dai-doro, like the pagoda,
represents the five elements of
Buddhist cosmology. The piece touching
the ground represents chi, the earth; the next section represents sui,
or water; ka or fire, is represented by the section encasing the
lantern's light or flame, while fū (air) and kū (void or spirit) are
represented by the last two sections, top-most and pointing towards
the sky. The segments express the idea that after death our physical
bodies will go back to their original, elemental form.
Stone water basins, (tsukubai) were originally placed in gardens for
visitors to wash their hands and mouth before the tea ceremony. The
water is provided to the basin by a bamboo pipe, or kakei, and they
usually have a wooden ladle for drinking the water. In tea gardens,
the basin was placed low to the ground, so the drinker had to bend
over to get his water.
Shukkei-en garden in Hiroshima.
Water basin at Ryōan-ji, Kyoto
Stone water basin in
Stone water basin in Sakamotu, Ōtsu, Shiga
Water basin at
Tenryū-ji Temple in Kyoto
Snow lanterns, like this one in
Kenroku-en garden, have wide brims
which catch the snow, to create picturesque scenes.
Stone water fountain and cistern at the Japanese
Garden at Norfolk
Botanical Garden, Norfolk, Virginia.
Garden fences, gates, and devices
The exterior wall of Katsura Imperial Villa, designed, like all the
garden, for purity and simplicity
Gate of the Urakuen tea garden, seen from inside
The traditional garden gate of the Adachi Museum of Art
A shishiodoshi is garden device, made of bamboo and wood, designed to
scare away birds. As the bamboo tube fills with water, it clacks
against a stone, empties, then fills with water again.
Trees and flowers
Momiji in the temple of Ginkaku-ji, Kyoto
Nothing in a
Japanese garden is natural or left to chance; each plant
is chosen according to aesthetic principles, either to hide
undesirable sights, to serve as a backdrop to certain garden features,
or to create a picturesque scene, like a landscape painting or
postcard. Trees are carefully chosen and arranged for their autumn
Moss is often used to suggest that the garden is ancient.
Flowers are also carefully chosen by their season of flowering. Formal
flowerbeds are rare in older gardens, but more common in modern
gardens. Some plants are chosen for their religious symbolism, such as
the lotus, sacred in
Buddhist teachings, or the pine, which represents
The trees are carefully trimmed to provide attractive scenes, and to
prevent them from blocking other views of the garden. Their growth is
also controlled, in a technique called Niwaki, to give them more
picturesque shapes, and to make them look more ancient. They are
sometimes constrained to bend, in order to provide shadows or better
reflections in the water. Very old pine trees are often supported by
wooden crutches, or their branches are held by cords, to keep them
from breaking under the weight of snow.
In the late 16th century, a new art was developed in the Japanese
garden; that of ōkarikomi (大刈込), the technique of trimming
bushes into balls or rounded shapes which imitate waves. According to
tradition this art was developed by Kobori Enshū (1579–1647), and
it was most frequently practiced on azalea bushes. It was similar to
the topiary gardens made in Europe at the same time, except that
European topiary gardens tried to make trees look like geometric solid
objects, while ōkarkikomi sought to make bushes look as if they were
almost liquid, or in flowing natural shapes. It created an artistic
play of light on the surface of the bush, and, according to garden
historian Michel Baridon, "it also brought into play the sense of
'touching things' which even today succeeds so well in Japanese
The most common trees and plants found in Japanese gardens are the
azalea (tsutsuji), the camellia (tsubaki), the oak (kashiwa), the
Japanese apricot (ume), cherry (sakura), maple (momiji), the willow
(yanagi), the ginkgo (ichō), the Japanese cypress (hinoki), the
Japanese cedar (sugi), pine (matsu), and bamboo (take).
The style of topiary plant sculpture known as o-karikomi in Chionin
O-karikomi sculpted trees and bushes at Chiran Samurai Residence.
Azaleas at Soraku-en Garden
Japanese maple combined at
Garden in Kyoto.
Pine trees at
Kenroku-en garden supported by braces to support the
weight of snow without breaking
Some ancient pine trees at
Kenroku-en supported by cords in winter to
keep their limbs from breaking
Landscape in Ritsurin Garden
O-karikomi; trimmed bushes in Ritsurin Garden
The use of fish, particularly nishiki-goi (colored carp), or goldfish
as a decorative element in gardens was borrowed from the Chinese
Goldfish were developed in
China more than a thousand years
ago by selectively breeding Prussian carp for color mutations. By the
Song dynasty (960–1279), yellow, orange, white and red-and-white
colorations had been developed.
Goldfish were introduced to
the 16th century.
Koi were developed from common carp in
Japan in the
Koi are domesticated common carp (Cyprinus carpio) that are
selected or culled for color; they are not a different species, and
will revert to the original coloration within a few generations if
allowed to breed freely.
Kept of Amaterasu in the
Ise Grand Shrine
Ise Grand Shrine 2005.
or brocaded (colored) carp, a decorative fish bred for gardens
Koi in Himeji Koko-en Garden
A large carp in the garden of Suizen-ji
The early Japanese gardens largely followed the Chinese model, but
gradually Japanese gardens developed their own principles and
aesthetics. These were spelled out by a series of landscape gardening
manuals, beginning with
Sakuteiki (Notes on Gardening) in the Heian
Period (794-1185). The principles of sacred gardens, such as the
Buddhist temples, were different from those of pleasure
or promenade gardens; for example,
Buddhist gardens were designed
to be seen, while seated, from a platform with a view of the whole
garden, without entering it, while promenade gardens were meant to be
seen by walking through the garden and stopping at a series of view
points. However, they often contain common elements and used the same
techniques. Some basic principles are:
Japanese garden is a miniature and idealized view
of nature. Rocks can represent mountains, and ponds can represent
seas. The garden is sometimes made to appear larger by placing larger
rocks and trees in the foreground, and smaller ones in the background.
Concealment (miegakure, "hide and reveal"). The
Buddhist garden is
meant to be seen all at once, but the promenade garden is meant to be
seen one landscape at a time, like a scroll of painted landscapes
unrolling. Features are hidden behind hills, trees groves or bamboo,
walls or structures, to be discovered when the visitor follows the
Borrowing of scenery ("shakkei"). Smaller gardens are often designed
to incorporate the view of features outside the garden, such as hills,
trees or temples, as part of the view. This makes the garden seem
larger than it really is.
Asymmetry. Japanese gardens are not laid on straight axes, or with a
single feature dominating the view. Buildings and garden features are
usually placed to be seen from a diagonal, and are carefully composed
into scenes that contrast right angles, such as buildings with natural
features, and vertical features, such as rocks, bamboo or trees, with
horizontal features, such as water.
According to garden historians David and Michigo Young, at the heart
Japanese garden is the principle that a garden is a work of
art. "Though inspired by nature, it is an interpretation rather than a
copy; it should appear to be natural, but it is not wild.".
Landscape gardener Seyemon Kusumoto wrote that the Japanese generate
"the best of nature's handiwork in a limited space".
Differences between Japanese and Chinese gardens
Japanese gardens during the
Heian period were modeled upon Chinese
gardens, but by the
Edo period there were distinct differences.
Architecture. Chinese gardens have buildings in the center of the
garden, occupying a large part of the garden space. The buildings are
placed next to or over the central body of water. The garden buildings
are very elaborate, with much architectural decoration. In later
Japanese gardens, the buildings are well apart from the body of water,
and the buildings are simple, with very little ornament. The
architecture in a
Japanese garden is largely or partly concealed.
Viewpoint. Chinese gardens are designed to be seen from the inside,
from the buildings, galleries and pavilions in the center of the
garden. Japanese gardens are designed to be seen from the outside, as
Japanese rock garden
Japanese rock garden or zen garden; or from a path winding
through the garden.
Use of Rocks. In a Chinese garden, particularly in the Ming dynasty,
rocks were selected for their extraordinary shapes or resemblance to
animals or mountains, and used for dramatic effect. They were often
the stars and centerpieces of the garden. In later Japanese gardens,
rocks were smaller and placed in more natural arrangements. integrated
into the garden.
Marine Landscapes. Chinese gardens were inspired by Chinese inland
landscapes, particularly Chinese lakes and mountains, while Japanese
gardens often use miniaturized scenery from the Japanese coast.
Japanese gardens frequently include white sand or pebble beaches and
rocks which seem to have been worn by the waves and tide, which rarely
appear in Chinese gardens.
Chisen-shoyū-teien or pond garden
The chisen-shoyū-teien ("lake-spring-boat excursion garden") was
China during the
Heian period (794–1185). It is also
called the shinden-zukuri style, after the architectural style of the
main building. It featured a large, ornate residence with two long
wings reaching south to a large lake and garden. Each wing ended in a
pavilion from which guests could enjoy the views of the lake. Visitors
made tours of the lake in small boats. These gardens had large lakes
with small islands, where musicians played during festivals and
ceremonies worshippers could look across the water at the Buddha. No
original gardens of this period remain, but reconstructions can be
seen at Heian-jingū and
Daikaku-ji Temple in Kyoto.
Heian-jingū is a recreation of the old imperial pond garden of Kyoto.
The Paradise Garden
Garden appeared in the late Heian period, created by
nobles belonging to the Amida Buddhism sect. They were meant to
symbolize Paradise or the
Pure Land (Jōdo), where the
Buddha sat on a
platform contemplating a lotus pond. These gardens featured a lake
island called Nakajima, where the
Buddha hall was located, connected
to the shore by an arching bridge. The most famous surviving example
is the garden of the Phoenix Hall of
Byōdō-in Temple, built in 1053,
in Uji, near Kyoto. Other examples are
Jōruri-ji temple in Kyoto,
Enro-ji Temple in Nara Prefecture, the Hokongoin in Kyoto, Mōtsū-ji
Temple in Hiraizumi, and Shiramizu Amidado
Garden in Iwaki City.
Byōdō-in Temple in Uji, near Kyoto.
Enjō-ji Temple in
Nara Prefecture is a good example of a paradise
garden of the late Heian Period.
Jōruri-ji, a paradise garden in Kyoto. The pond was dug by monks in
Karesansui dry rock gardens
Karesansui gardens (枯山水) or Japanese rock gardens, became
Japan in the 14th century thanks to the work of a Buddhist
Musō Soseki (1275–1351) who built zen gardens at the five
major monasteries in Kyoto. These gardens have white sand or raked
gravel in place of water, carefully arranged rocks, and sometimes
rocks and sand covered with moss. Their purpose is to facilitate
meditation, and they are meant to be viewed while seated on the porch
of the residence of the hōjō, the abbot of the monastery. The most
famous example is
Ryōan-ji Temple in Kyoto.
Rosan-ji garden, Kyoto
Zuihō-in garden, Kyoto
Roji, or tea gardens
The tea garden was created during the
Muromachi period (1333–1573)
Momoyama period (1573–1600) as a setting for the Japanese tea
ceremony, or chanoyu. The style of garden takes its name from the
roji, or path to the teahouse, which is supposed to inspire the
visitor to meditation to prepare him for the ceremony. There is an
outer garden, with a gate and covered arbor where guests wait for the
invitation to enter. They then pass through a gate to the inner
garden, where they wash their hands and rinse their mouth, as they
would before entering a
Shinto shrine, before going into the teahouse
itself. The path is always kept moist and green, so it will look like
a remote mountain path, and there are no bright flowers that might
distract the visitor from his meditation. Early tea houses had no
windows, but later teahouses have a wall which can be opened for a
view of the garden.
A teahouse and roji, or tea garden, at Ise Jingu.
Traditional teahouse and tea garden at
Garden of the Urakuen teahouse
Rustic gate of the Keishun-in garden teahouse in Kyoto
Kaiyū-shiki-teien, or promenade gardens
Promenade or stroll gardens (landscape gardens in the go-round style)
Japan during the
Edo period, (1600–1854), at the villas
of nobles or warlords. These gardens were designed to complement the
houses in the new sukiya-zukuri style of architecture, which were
modeled after the tea house. These gardens were meant to be seen by
following a path clockwise around the lake from one carefully composed
scene to another. These gardens used two techniques to provide
interest; borrowing of scenery ("shakkei"), which took advantage of
views of scenery outside the garden, such as mountains or temples,
incorporating them into the view so the garden looked larger than it
really was; and miegakure, or "hide-and-reveal," which used winding
paths, fences, bamboo and buildings to hide the scenery so the visitor
would not see it until he was at the best view point.
gardens also often feature recreations of famous scenery or scenes
inspired by literature;
Kumamoto has a
miniature version of Mount Fuji, and
Katsura Villa in
Kyoto has a
miniature version of the
Ama-no-hashidate sandbar in Miyazu Bay, near
Tokyo creates small landscapes inspired
by eighty-eight famous Japanese poems.
Katsura Imperial Villa, the prototype for the promenade garden
Shugaku-in Imperial Villa, completed in 1659, another classic example
of a promenade garden of the
Two hills covered with trimmed bamboo grass which represent Mount Lu
in China. This feature is in
Garden in Tokyo.
Suizen-ji Jōju-en Garden, begun in 1636, has a miniature replica of
Mount Fuji. The trees on the upper part of the hill are trimmed to be
smaller, to make the mountain look taller.
Tsubo-niwa courtyard garden
The courtyard garden of a former geisha house in Kanazawa, Ishikawa.
The trees are covered with straw to protect them from the snow.
These small gardens were originally found in the interior courtyards
Heian period and palaces, and were designed to give a glimpse of
nature and some privacy to the residents of the rear side of the
building. They were as small as one tsubo, or about 3.3 square meters.
Edo period, merchants began building small gardens in the
space behind their shops, which faced the street, and their
residences, located at the rear. These tiny gardens were meant to be
seen, not entered, and usually had a stone lantern, a water basin,
stepping stones and a few plants. Today, tsubo-niwa are found in many
Japanese residences, hotels, restaurants, and public buildings. A
good example from the
Meiji period is found in the villa of Murin-an
Shisen-dō, built in Kyoto, in the 17th century, one of the best
examples of a hermitage garden
A hermitage garden is a small garden usually built by a samurai or
government official who wanted to retire from public life and devote
himself to study or meditation. It is attached to a rustic house, and
approached by a winding path, which suggests it is deep in a forest.
It may have a small pond, a Japanese rock garden, and the other
features of traditional gardens, in miniature, designed to create
tranquility and inspiration. An example is the
Shisen-dō garden in
Kyoto, built by a bureaucrat and scholar exiled by the shogun in the
17th century. It is now a
Literature and art of the Japanese garden
Claude Monet, Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies, 1899, Metropolitan
Museum of Art
The first manual of Japanese gardening was the
Sakuteiki ("Records of
Garden Making"), probably written in the late eleventh century by
Tachibana no Tohshitsuna, (1028–1094). Citing even older Chinese
sources, it explains how to organize the garden, from the placement of
rocks and streams to the correct depth of ponds and height of
cascades. While it was based on earlier
Chinese garden principles, it
also expressed ideas which were unique to Japanese gardens, such as
islands, beaches and rock formations imitating Japanese maritime
Besides giving advice,
Sakuteiki also gives dire warnings of what
happens if the rules are not followed; the author warns that, if a
rock that in nature was in a horizontal position is stood upright in a
garden, it will bring misfortune to the owner of the garden. And, if a
large rock pointed toward the north or west is placed near a gallery,
the owner of the garden will be forced to leave before a year
Another influential work about the Japanese garden, bonseki, bonsai
and related arts was Rhymeprose on a Miniature Landscape Garden
(around 1300) by the
Zen monk Kokan Shiren, which explained how
meditation on a miniature garden purified the senses and the mind and
led to understanding of the correct relationship between man and
Other influential garden manuals which helped to define the aesthetics
Japanese garden are Senzui Narabi ni Yagyo no Zu (Illustrations
for Designing Mountain, Water and Hillside Field Landscapes), written
in the fifteenth century, and Tsukiyama Teizoden (Building Mountains
and Making Gardens), from the 18th century. The tradition of Japanese
gardening was historically passed down from sensei to apprentice. The
opening words of Illustrations for designing mountain, water and
hillside field landscapes (1466) are "If you have not received the
oral transmissions, you must not make gardens" and its closing
admonition is "You must never show this writing to outsiders. You must
keep it secret".
These garden manuals are still studied today.
Gardens in literature and poetry
The Tale of Genji, the classic Japanese novel of the Heian period,
describes the role of the
Japanese garden in court life. The
characters attend festivals in the old
Kyoto imperial palace garden,
take boat trips on the lake, listen to music and watch formal dances
under the trees.
Gardens were often the subject of poems during the Heian period. A
poem in one anthology from the period, the Kokin-Shu, described the
Kiku-shima, or island of chrystanthemums, found in the Osawa pond in
the great garden of the period called Saga-in.
I had thought that here
only one chrysanthmum can grow.
Who therefore has planted
the other in the depths
of the pond of Osawa?
Another poem of the Heian period, in the Hyakunin isshu, described a
cascade of rocks, which simulated a waterfall, in the same garden:
The cascade long ago
ceased to roar,
But we continue to hear
of its name.
Philosophy, painting, and the Japanese garden
Painting of part of Landscape of the Four Seasons by the monk Tenshō
Shūbun from the Muromachi period, showing an idealized Japanese
landscape, where man was humble and lived in harmony with nature. This
ideal landscape was also depicted in Japanese gardens.
In Japanese culture, garden-making is a high art, equal to the arts of
calligraphy and ink painting. Gardens are considered three-dimensional
Zen Buddhism. Sometimes the lesson is very
literal; the garden of
Saihō-ji featured a pond shaped like the
Japanese character shin (心) or xīn in Chinese, the heart-spirit of
Chinese philosophy, the newspaper character is 心 but it's the full
cursive, the sousho style (草書) for shin that would be used;
sousho, this well-named "grass writing", would be appropriate for
gardening purpose indeed, for in cursive writing the character shapes
change depending on the context and of course, since it is cursive,
depending on the person -that is to say that the character would be
done in a single pencil stroke, it would match the state of mind and
the context rather than the newspaper print.[clarification needed]
However, usually the lessons are contained in the arrangements of the
rocks, the water and the plants. For example, the lotus flower has a
particular message; Its roots are in the mud at the bottom of the
pond, symbolizing the misery of the human condition, but its flower is
pure white, symbolizing the purity of spirit that can be achieved by
following the teachings of the Buddha. 
Japanese rock gardens
Japanese rock gardens were intended to be intellectual puzzles for
the monks who lived next to them to study and solve. They followed the
same principles as the suiboku-ga, the black-and-white Japanese inks
paintings of the same period, which, according to
principles, tried to achieve the maximum effect using the minimum
"Catching a catfish with a gourd" by Josetsu
One painter who influenced the
Japanese garden was Josetsu
(1405–1423), a Chinese
Zen monk who moved to
Japan and introduced a
new style of ink-brush painting, moving away from the romantic misty
landscapes of the earlier period, and using asymmetry and areas of
white space, similar to the white space created by sand in zen
gardens, to set apart and highlight a mountain or tree branch or other
element of his painting. He became chief painter of the Shogun and
influenced a generation of painters and garden designers.
Japanese gardens also follow the principles of perspective of Japanese
landscape painting, which feature a close-up plane, an intermediate
plane, and a distant plane. The empty space between the different
planes has a great importance, and is filled with water, moss, or
sand. The garden designers used various optical tricks to give the
garden the illusion of being larger than it really is, by borrowing of
scenery ("shakkei"), employing distant views outside the garden, or
using miniature trees and bushes to create the illusion that they are
Noteworthy Japanese gardens
Garden in Kyoto.
(Kaiyū-shiki Garden, completed in the 14th century)
Kōraku-en in Okayama.
(Kaiyū-shiki Garden, completed in the 17th century)
Adachi Museum of Art
Adachi Museum of Art Garden, Yasugi.
(Kanshō-shiki Garden, completed in the 20th century)
A spacious Japanese garden, Suizen-ji Jōju-en, near
The Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of
the government of
Japan designates the most notable of the nation's
scenic beauty as
Special Places of Scenic Beauty, under the Law for
the Protection of Cultural Properties. As of March 1, 2007, 29
sites are listed, more than a half of which are Japanese gardens, as
Boldface entries specify World Heritage Sites.
Garden (Hiraizumi, Iwate)
Kairaku-en (Mito, Ibaraki)
Rikugi-en (Bunkyō, Tokyo)
Hamarikyu Gardens (Chūō, Tokyo)
Kenroku-en (Kanazawa, Ishikawa)
Ichijōdani Asakura Family Gardens
Ichijōdani Asakura Family Gardens (Fukui, Fukui)
Garden (Uji, Kyoto)
Garden (Kyoto, Kyoto)
Nijō Castle Ninomaru
Garden (Kyoto, Kyoto)
Garden (Kyoto, Kyoto)
Garden (Kyoto, Kyoto)
Garden (Kyoto, Kyoto)
The garden of Sanbōin in
Daigo-ji (Kyoto, Kyoto)
The moss garden of
Saihō-ji (the "
Moss Temple") (Kyoto, Kyoto)
Garden (Kyoto, Kyoto)
The garden of
Daitoku-ji (Kyoto, Kyoto)
Murin-an garden, Kyoto, Kyoto
Garden (Iwade, Wakayama)
Adachi Museum of Art
Adachi Museum of Art
Garden (Yasugi, Shimane)
Kōraku-en (Okayama, Okayama)
Matsue Vogel Park (Matsue)
Garden (Takamatsu, Kagawa)
Nakatsu Banshoen (Marugame, Kagawa)
Tensha-en (Uwajima, Ehime)
Suizen-ji Jōju-en (Kumamoto, Kumamoto)
Sengan-en (Kagoshima, Kagoshima)
Shikina-en (Naha, Okinawa)
However, the Education Minister is not eligible to have jurisdiction
over any imperial property. These two gardens, administered by
Imperial Household Agency, are also considered to be great
Katsura Imperial Villa
Shugaku-in Imperial Villa
In English-speaking nations
This view from the Symbolic Mountain in the gardens in Cowra,
Australia shows many of the typical elements of a Japanese garden.
The aesthetic of Japanese gardens was introduced to the
English-speaking community by Josiah Conder's Landscape
Japan (Kelly & Walsh, 1893). It sparked the first Japanese gardens
in the West. A second edition was required in 1912. Conder's
principles have sometimes proved hard to follow:
"Robbed of its local garb and mannerisms, the Japanese method reveals
aesthetic principles applicable to the gardens of any country,
teaching, as it does, how to convert into a poem or picture a
composition, which, with all its variety of detail, otherwise lacks
unity and intent"
Samuel Newsom's Japanese
Garden Construction (1939) offered Japanese
aesthetic as a corrective in the construction of rock gardens, which
owed their quite separate origins in the West to the mid-19th century
desire to grow alpines in an approximation of Alpine scree.
According to the
Garden History Society, Japanese landscape gardener
Seyemon Kusumoto was involved in the development of around 200 gardens
in the UK. In 1937 he exhibited a rock garden at the Chelsea Flower
Show, and worked on the Burngreave Estate at Bognor Regis, and also on
Japanese garden at
Cottered in Hertfordshire. The lush courtyards at
Du Cane Court—an art deco block of flats in Balham, London, built
between 1935 and 1938—were designed by Kusumoto. All four courtyards
there may have originally contained ponds. Only one survives, and this
is stocked with koi. There are also several stone lanterns, which are
meant to symbolise the illumination of one's path through life;
similarly, the paths through the gardens are not straight. Japanese
maple, Japanese anemone, cherry trees, evergreens, and bamboo are
other typical features of Du Cane Court's gardens.
According to David A. Slawson, many of the Japanese gardens that are
recreated in the US are of "museum-piece quality". He also writes,
however, that as the gardens have been introduced into the Western
world, they have become more Americanized, decreasing their natural
A Japanese zen garden at the Auburn Botanical Gardens, in Auburn,
Auburn Botanical Gardens, in Sydney, New South Wales
Canberra Nara Peace Park in Lennox Gardens, Canberra
Garden and Cultural Centre, Cowra, New South Wales
Himeji Gardens, Adelaide
"Tsuki-yama-chisen" Japanese Garden, Brisbane
Nerima Gardens, Ipswich
Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, Hobart
University of Southern Queensland
University of Southern Queensland Japanese Garden, "Ju Raku En",
Garden in the Devonian Botanic Garden, Edmonton, Alberta
Nitobe Memorial Garden, Vancouver, British Columbia
The University of
Alberta Botanic Garden, Edmonton, Alberta, formerly
named the Devonian Botanic Garden, which contains an extensive
Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden, Lethbridge,
Garden and Pavilion, Montreal Botanical Garden, Quebec
Kariya Park, Mississauga, Ontario
Compton Acres, Dorset
Dartington Hall, Devon
Hall Park, Leeds
Harewood House, Leeds
Holland Park, London
St Mawgan in Pydar, Cornwall
Tatton Park, Cheshire
School of Oriental and African Studies, London
Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park, Belfast
Fujiyama Japanese Garden
Lauriston Castle, Edinburgh —garden opened 2002
Japanese Garden, Tully, County Kildare. Red lacquered arched bridges
are Chinese in origin and seldom seen in Japan, but are often placed
in Japanese-style gardens in other countries.
The Japanese Gardens at the Irish National Stud, Kildare, Co.
Hakone Gardens in Saratoga, California
Anderson Japanese Gardens
Anderson Japanese Gardens (Rockford, Illinois)
Garden (Brooklyn, New York)
Garden (Glencoe, Illinois)
Earl Burns Miller Japanese
Garden (California State University, Long
Ganna Walska Lotusland
Ganna Walska Lotusland (Santa Barbara,
Fort Worth Japanese
Garden at the Fort Worth Botanic
Garden (San Francisco, California)
Hakone Gardens (Saratoga, California), used as a filming location for
Memoirs of a Geisha
Hayward Japanese Gardens (Hayward, California), the oldest
Japanese garden in California.
The Huntington (San Marino, California)
Garden (Phoenix, Arizona)
Garden (Kelley Park) (San Jose, California)
Garden at Marjorie McNeely Conservatory (St Paul, Minnesota)
Maymont Park - Japanese
Garden (Richmond, VA)
Japanese garden at
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum (near Chanhassen,
Kumamoto En (San Antonio, Texas)
Hermann Park in Houston, Texas
Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, Delray Beach, Florida
Garden (Bloomington, Minnesota)
Garden (Portland, Oregon)
Garden at the Washington Park Arboretum, Kubota
Garden (Seattle, Washington)
Garden (Los Angeles, California)
Mizumoto Japanese Stroll
Garden (Springfield, Missouri)
Seiwa-en at the Missouri Botanical
Garden (St. Louis, Missouri)
Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Garden (Austin, Texas)
Yuko-En on the Elkhorn
Yuko-En on the Elkhorn (Georgetown, Kentucky)
Shigematsu Memorial Japanese
Garden at Lansing Community College,
In other countries
The Buenos Aires Japanese Gardens
All seasons close-up of the Tsubo-en (Netherlands) O-karikomi,
Garden in Przelewice, Poland
Garden in Lankester Botanical Gardens, Costa Rica
The Buenos Aires Japanese Gardens, of the Fundación Cultural
Jardín Japonés de Belén de Escobar.
Setagayapark, Ecke Gallmeyergasse,1190 Vienna - opened 1992 (garden
designer Ken Nakajima)
Garden in Schlosspark Schönbrunn, Vienna - revitalized
Japanse tuin, Hasselt
Jardin japonais Chevetogne Namur
Parque Santos Dummont, São José dos Campos, São Paulo
Bosque Municipal Fábio Barreto, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo
Garden at the
Kempinski Hotel Zografski in Sofia;
built in 1979 as a large-scale copy of the garden at the Hotel New
Otani Tokyo, first and only Japanese
Garden in the
Chile: La Serena and Santiago. Built by the embassy of Japan.
Costa Rica: Lankester Botanical Gardens, operated by the University of
Costa Rica, in Paraíso, Cartago
The Departmental Museum of Albert Kahn (Musée Albert-Kahn) in
Boulogne-Billancourt has two Japanese Gardens.
Garden at the UNESCO Head Quarters, created by Isamu Noguchi
Rising sun garden (Jardin du Soleil levant) in the
Botanical garden of
Germany: Hamburg, Leverkusen, Kaiserslautern,
Munich (in the
Japanese garden on Margaret Island,
another one in the
Zoo and Botanical Garden.
India: Japanese Garden, Moti Jheel,
Buddha Park, Indira
Nagar, Kalianpur, Kanpur, Chandigarh
Mongolia: Juulchin street cnr Jigjidjav street, Ulaanbaatar,
established in 2005 by a Mongolian sumo wrestler
Monaco: Jardin Japonais, Larvotto
The Japanse Tuin of Clingendael park
The Tsubo-en karesansui garden in Lelystad, a private modern Japanese
zen (karesansui, dry rock) garden
The Von Siebold Memorial
Garden in Leiden
Nicaragua: Parque Japón Nicaragua, in Managua
Norway: Japanhagen in Milde,
Bergen - opened 2005, part of the
botanical garden of the University of
Bergen - (landscape architect
Garden at Rizal Park in Ermita, Manila
Garden at Lake Caliraya in Cavinti, Laguna
Wrocław - founded 1913, restored 1996-1997,
destroyed by flood, restored 1999
Garden in Przelewice - a part of Dendrological
Przelewice founded in 1933
Moscow — founded 1983, opened 1987 (landscape
architect Ken Nakajima)
Kare-sansui garden (枯山水) or
Japanese rock garden
Japanese rock garden in
opened 2012 (landscape architect Takuhiro Yamada), part of the Botanic
Garden of the
Irkutsk State University
Serbia: The Japanese
Garden in Botanical
Jevremovac - opened
2004 (landscape architects Vera and Mihailo Grbic)
Garden - a garden island located in Jurong Lake
Zen Gardens of the
Autonomous University of Barcelona
Autonomous University of Barcelona at the
faculty of translation and interpretation
Japanska Trädgården in
Ronneby Brunnspark, Blekinge
The "Japandalen" (
Japan Valley) of Gothenburg Botanical Garden
Anadolu University Japanese Botanical Garden
Uruguay: Jardín Japonés,
Montevideo - opened 2001 by Princess Sayako
Beijing Botanical Garden
Sources and citations
^ Gunter Nitschke, Le jardin japonais, pg. 9-10.
^ a b Suga, Hirofumi (2015). Japanese Garden. The Images Publishing
Group Pty Ltd. p. 6. ISBN 978-1-86470-648-2.
^ Michel Baridon, Les Jardins, pg. 466-479
^ Nitschke, Le Jardin japonais, pg. 14-15
^ Nitschke, Le Jardin japonais, pg. 14-15, and Young, The Art of the
^ Young, The Art of the Japanese Garden, pg. 64-65. Famous is
Kuitert's critique on the zen garden as a modern interpretation: The
term zen garden appears in English writing in the 1930s for the first
Japan zen teien, or zenteki teien comes up even later, from
the 1950s. It applies to a Sung China-inspired composition technique
derived from ink-painting. The composition or construction of such
small, scenic gardens have no relation to religious Zen. See Kuitert,
Themes, Scenes, and Taste in the History of Japanese
Garden Art, 1988
; Kuitert, Themes in the History of Japanese
Garden Art 2002,
pp.129-138; and the review of these two books by Elizabeth ten
^ Nitschke, Le Jardin japonais, pg. 22-23
^ These three quotations are cited in Nitschke, Le Jardin Japonais,
^ See Wybe Kuitert, Two Early Japanese Gardens 1991
^ Nitschke, Le Jardin japonais, pg. 36.
^ See on the manual Kuitert, Themes in the History of Japanese Garden
Art, pp 30-52. The quote is from Nitschke, Le Jardin japonais, pg. 36.
^ a b Danielle Ellisseeff, Jardins japonais, pg. 16
^ Danielle Elisseeff, Jardins japonais, pg. 22-23.
^ Daniele Eilisseeff, Jardins Japonais, pg. 20
^ Danielle Elisseeff, Jardins japonais, pp. 30–31
^ Miyeko Murase, L'Art du Japon, pg. 173-177
^ Gunter Nitschke, Le Jardin japonais, pg. 92. English translation of
excerpt by D. R. Siefkin.
^ a b Nitschke, Le jardin japonais, pg. 120.
^ Miyeko Murase, l'Art du Japon, pg. 213–215.
^ Nitschke, Le jardin japonais, pg. 160–162.
^ Miyeko Murase, L'Art du Japon, pp. 277–281
^ Nitschke, Le jardin Japonais, pg. 158.
^ Nitschke, Le jardin japonais, pp. 169–172
^ Wybe Kuitert, Japanese Gardens and Landscapes, 1650–1950, pp.
^ Iwatsuki, Zennoske, and Tsutomu Kodama. Economic Botany. 3rd ed.
Vol. 15. New York: Springer, 1961. Print. Mosses in Japanese Gardens
^ Roberts, Jeremy. Japanese Mythology A to Z. New York, NY: Chelsea
House, 2010. Print.
^ Michel Baridon, Les Jardins, pg. 492.
^ Michel Baridon, Les Jardins, pg, 490
^ Young, The Art of the Japanese Garden, pg. 24.
^ Young, The Art of the Japanese Garden, pg. 24-25
^ a b Heyd, Thoams (2008). Encountering Nature. Abingdon, Oxen:
Ashgate Publishing Group. p. 156.
Garden and Landscape Design: Japanese". Encyclopædia Britannica
^ Young, The Art of the Japanese Garden, pg. 40
^ Danielle Elisseeff, Jardins japonais, pg. 24.
^ Young and Young, the Art of the Japanese Garden, pg. 33.
^ "Five Element Pagodas, Stupas, Steles, Gravestones". Onmark
Productions. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
^ Young, The Art of the Japanese Garden, (pg. 35)
^ Michel Baridon. Les Jardins. Pg. 475. excerpt translated from French
by D.R. Siefkin.
^ "Karikomi". JAANUS.
^ "Aquatic-oasis articles". Aquatic-oasis. Archived from the original
on October 16, 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-26.
^ "Exotic Goldfish".
^ Young, The Art of the Japanese Garden, pg. 20
^ a b Young, The Art of the Japanese Garden, pg. 20.
^ Young, The Art of the Japanese Garden, pg. 20
^ a b Vincent, Gregory K. (2008). A history of Du Cane Court :
land, architecture, people and politics. Woodbine.
^ Young, The Art of the Japanese Garden, pg. 22
^ Michel Baridon, Les Jardins, pg. 466
^ Young, The Art of the Japanese Garden, pg. 84.
^ Young, The Art of the Japanese Garden, pg. 118-119.
^ Young, The Art of the Japanese Garden, pg. 124
^ Young, The Art of the Japanese Garden, pg, 126
^ Gunter Nitschke, Le jardin japonais, pg. 225.
^ For a review of
Sakuteiki and various translations in Western
languages see: De la Creation des Jardins: Traduction du Sakutei-ki by
Michel Vieillard-Baron. Review in English by: Wybe Kuitert in
Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 53, No. 2, Summer 1998, Pages 292–294
https://www.jstor.org/stable/2385689 See also Sakuteiki: Visions of
Garden by Jiro Takei and Marc P. Keane.
^ Michel Baridon, Les Jardins, pg. 485–486.
^ The Illustrations, nevertheless, are translated and annotated in
David A. Slawson, Secret Teachings in the Art of Japanese Gardens (New
York/Tokyo: Kodansha 1987)
^ Michel Baridon, Les Jardins, pg. 485.
^ Nitschke, Le Jardin Japonais, pg. 42. Excerpts translated from
French by DR Siefkin.
^ Danielle Elisseeff, Jardins Japonais, pg. 39.
^ Miyeko Murase, L'Art du Japon, pg. 183.
^ Miyeko Murase, L'Art du Japon, pg. 197
^ Virginie Klecka, Jardins Japonais, pg. 20.
^ MEXT : Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and
Technology Archived 2007-08-15 at the Wayback Machine.
^ JNTO Website Find a Location
Shugaku-in Imperial Villa
Archived 2007-08-18 at the Wayback Machine.
^ Slawson 1987:15 and note2.
^ Conder quoted in Slawson 1987:15.
^ Slawson, David A. (1987). Japanese gardens: design principles,
aesthetic values. Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo: Kodansha International Ltd.
p. 15. ISBN 4-7700-1541-0.
^ "Gardens". University of Southern Queensland. Archived from the
original on 15 April 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
^ "Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden : Lethbridge, Alberta".
^ "Japanese Gardens in the UK and Ireland — Compton Acres".
^ a b c d e f "UK and Ireland Survey". Japanese
Garden Journal. 35.
September–October 2003. Retrieved 2007-12-11.
Leeds - Places - Japanese
Garden at Horsforth Hall Park reopens".
BBC. 2009-08-27. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
^ "Japanese Gardens and Where to visit them in the UK".
Homeandgardeningarticles.co.uk. 2011-05-26. Retrieved
^ Japanese Gardens and Nursery
^ Eliovson, Sima (1971).
Gardening the Japanese way. Harrap.
p. 47. ISBN 978-0-245-50694-9. Red lacquered arched bridges
are seldom seen in Japan, although they are often placed in
Japanese-styled gardens in other countries. These are of Chinese
origin and there are only a few in evidence in Japanese gardens.
^ The Japanese Gardens. Dmtonline.org. Retrieved on 2010-12-25.
^ "The Hotel".
Kempinski Hotel Zografski Sofia. Archived from the
original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2009-11-06.
^ See the official web site. For the contemporary Japanese
Wybe Kuitert "Discourse and Creation: Two Japanese Gardens to
contemplate in Paris" Shakkei, 2008, 15/1, pp.18-29 pdf
^ See the official web site; and see Wybe Kuitert "Discourse and
Creation: Two Japanese Gardens to contemplate in Paris" Shakkei, 2008,
15/1, pp.18-29 pdf
^ Japonaiserie in
London and The Hague, A history of the Japanese
gardens at Shepherd's Bush (1910) and Clingendael (c. 1915) Journal of
Garden History Society 30, 2: 221-238 JSTOR 1587254
^ Constructed in the Leiden University Botanical Hortus Garden
Kuitert, Wybe, (2017) Japanese Gardens and Landscapes, 1650-1950,
University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia,
Kuitert, Wybe, (1988)Themes, Scenes, and Taste in the History of
Garden Art  , Japonica Neerlandica, Amsterdam,
Kuitert, Wybe, (2002) Themes in the History of Japanese
Hawaii University Press, Honolulu, (ISBN 0-8248-2312-5)
Young, David and Michiko, (2005), The Art of the Japanese Garden,
Tuttle Publishing, Vermont and Singapore,
Nitschke, Gunter, (1999) Le Jardin japonais - Angle droit et forme
naturelle, Taschen publishers, Paris (translated from German into
French by Wolf Fruhtrunk), (ISBN 978-3-8228-3034-5)
Baridon, Michel (1998). Les Jardins- Paysagistes, Jardiniers,
Poetes. , Éditions Robert Lafont, Paris,
Murase, Miyeko, (1996), L'Art du Japon, La Pochothḕque, Paris,
Elisseeff, Danielle, (2010), Jardins japonais, Ḗditions Scala,
Paris, (ISBN 978-2-35988-029-8)
Klecka, Virginie, (2011), Concevoir, Amenager, Decorer Jardins
Japonais, Rustica Editions, (ISBN 978-2-8153-0052-0)
Slawson, David A. Secret Teachings in the Art of Japanese Gardens (New
York/Tokyo: Kodansha 1987)
Yagi, Koji A Japanese Touch for Your Home (Kodansha 1982)
Miller, P. (2005), The Japanese Garden: Gateway to the Human Spirit,
International Journal of Humanities & Peace 2005, Vol. 21 Issue 1,
Retrieved August 3, 2008 from: http://researchport.umd.edu
Kato, E. (2004), The
Tea Ceremony and Women's Empowerment in Modern
Japan, RoutledgeCurzon, Retrieved August 3, 2008 from:
Varely, P. (2000), Japanese Culture Fourth Edition, The
Vaile Book Manufacturing Group, Retrieved August 3, 2008 from:
GoJapanGo. (2008), Japanese
Garden History, GNU Free Documentation
License, Retrieved August 2, 2008 from: www.gojapango.com
Japan Guide (1996–2008), Retrieved August 3, 2008 from:
Kenkyusha's New Japanese-English Dictionary, Kenkyusha Limited, Tokyo
1991, ISBN 4-7674-2015-6
The Compact Nelson Japanese-English Dictionary, Charles E. Tuttle
Tokyo 1999, ISBN 4-8053-0574-6 (Japan)
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Japanese gardens.
Japanese rock garden
Japanese rock garden - Information on zen gardens
Sakuteiki on the oldest Japanese manual on landscape gardening
Japanese Gardens 65+ in Japan, others overseas
Japanese Gardens, Bowdoin College
Real Japanese Gardens 90 gardens in Japan
Elements of Japanese architecture
Imperial Crown style
Imperial Crown style (Teikanyōshiki)
Model of Himeji Castle
Types of building
Architectural Institute of Japan
Japan Institute of Architects
Groups of Traditional Buildings
Japanese garden (rock (Zen))
Horticulture and gardening
Types of gardens
Genetically modified tree
List of organic gardening and farming topics
Vegan organic gardening
Index of pesticide articles
List of fungicides
Plant disease forecasting
Agriculture and agronomy portal
East Asian traditional landscape design
Classical Gardens of Suzhou
Gardens around the West Lake
Old Summer Palace
Chengde Mountain Resort
Garden of Changdeokgung
Katsura Imperial Villa
Shugakuin Imperial Villa
Hayama Imperial Villa
Suzaki Imperial Villa
Garden of the Prince Gong Mansion
Gardens in Peking University
Qing Hui Yuan
Yu Yin Shan Fang
Du Fu Thatched Cottage