Japanese Gardening Organization

Resources for Japanese Gardening 日本の園芸
Sharing the benefits of Japanese gardening for individuals, groups, communities and society.
Providing resources to foster the exchange of culture, knowledge, appreciation and application of Japanese gardening.
Striving for the highest level of accurate information and resources for Japanese gardening.
The Japanese Gardening Organization is a multinational, non-profit organization spreading the benefits of Japanese gardening for individuals, groups, communities, and society. Our Goal is to promote the advancement of the knowledge, appreciation, and application of Japanese gardening through online resources and programs with roots in international resources and expertise.

Japanese Gardening Organization Special Report:

Japanese Koi declared Illegal?

Spain joins the ranks of the state of Maine, USA and regions of Australia in banning the sale and possession of Japanese Koi.  Member and Japanese garden advocate, Carla Amorim, tells us of a new law recently published in Spain that classifies Koi fish as a dangerous invasive species. Carla explains that this means that possessing, breeding, selling or transporting Koi is illegal and punishable by law. 

The Japanese Garden Organization urges the officials in Spain to take a second look at what may have been hastily written legislation that does not take into consideration the differences in carp species, the economic benefit of koi breeding and sales businesses, the cultural importance of koi to treasured landscapes, etc.

The Japanese Gardening Organization believes that koi carp are at least no more of a threat to the environment and native species of any region than the hundreds of millions of feral dogs and cats around the world. We believe it is easier to responsibly own, raise and care for koi than most species legally classified as pets.  A platform has been created to appeal to the authorities to consider Koi a domestic animal like many others that can be registered, and to hold their owners responsible just as they are for their other domesticated animals, and prevent them from being released in the wild.  The petition can be accessed here Change.org.  Carla Amorim provides a translation here Koi declared illegal translation.


Spirit & Health


MAINTAINING A ‘ZEN’ GARDEN is a soothing activity. The calming and meditative practice might be appropriate for a patient dealing with an illness, with one caveat: raking the gravel in the garden can be physically demanding, more so if one’s energy is diminished by illness. What if the patient is physically unable to visit the garden?  The University of Florida’s Shands Hospital and Arts in Medicine are crossing these barriers in BEYOND THESE WALLS: EXPANDING THE PATIENT EXPERIENCE.


The Japanese Gardening Organization proudly presents:



The dry landscape at Meigetsu-in, Kamakura.

by Andrew R. Deane

PART ONE:  DESIGN & CRAFT is the first of 5 parts in this comprehensive work on Japanese Gardens.  Here we explore the aesthetics, artistic principles, garden types, designers, builders, and the transference of this knowledge.  JGO will be presenting the remaining parts as discussion topics in both dynamic online formats (see WIKI in the link below) and live interactive events.  See Part One below:



Pushing The Line – A Theoretical Approach to Raking a Karesansui Garden


“Daitokuji” copyright 2005 datigz and made available under an Attribution-Non-Commercial Share Alike Licence 2.0

Imagine that someone has wiped clean the pattern in the gravel at Ryoanji and handed you the rake with the instructions, “Make whatever pattern you think best.”  What pattern would you rake? What patterns wouldn’t you dare to rake, and why not? What would you do in this situation?

In Part II of the treatise on raking the sands of karesansui, Martin McKellar and Andrew R. Deane describe a journey of discovery, both personal and professional, in pursuit of understanding the meaning and methods of raking the sands of karesansui.

 Read More

JGO welcomes submissions of articles and essays for consideration.   Send to [email protected]

See also the article on a private Japanese garden under


The Japanese Garden of Terry Gerlach

Terrys Japanese Garden

Besides participating in Japanese Gardening Organization’s forums and managing the event calendar, Terry also volunteers for Portland’s Japanese Garden and is an avid Japanese gardener himself.  In the late 1990’s, he was presented with what he refers to as “an opportunity” when construction on a nearby road destroyed his entire landscape.  Take a tour of Terry’s garden and watch a short video on the maintenance of his garden at The Japanese Garden of Terry Gerlach.

The Japanese Garden:

Secrets of Natural Landscape Design

Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street, New York, NY 10017, at 47th Street and First Avenue

Thursday, April 21, 6:30 PM


From prominent temple gardens in Kyoto to the tranquil stone oasis at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Shiro Nakane is keeping the art of the traditional Japanese garden alive. Favoring subdued assemblages of stones and greenery over lush florals, the Japanese garden is revered for its calm, meditative quality. Son of garden master Kinsaku Nakane, Shiro began studying the craft as a young boy and has been following in his father’s footsteps ever since. He comes to Japan Society to share his insights on Japanese garden design gained through a lifetime of work in the field. More here:  http://www.japansociety.org/event/the-japanese-garden-secrets-of-natural-landscape-design

The Japanese Garden

Intensive Seminar Plus

The Research Center for Japanese Garden Art and Historical Heritage, Kyoto Japan

October 3 - 15, 2016

The Research Center for Japanese Garden Art and Historical Heritage is pleased to announce the 16th annual English language intensive course in the history, design theory, landscape ecology, and practice of Japanese Garden. For 16 years, more than 380 participants from all over the world from Singapore to Mexico, Germany to the US have participated. The international character of the participants has increasingly stimulated the global character and contents of our teaching, making the Seminar a full and rewarding event for everyone involved, including the staff of the Center. The program is designed in the context of the Graduate School of the Kyoto University of Art and Design. The Seminar leaves ample room for an individual learning experience for each participant and is fully academic at the same time. If you have taken part in an Intensive Seminar previously, you are welcome to apply once more for the Intensive Seminar Plus.

About the Program

The two-week program offers serious students from abroad a number of unique opportunities to study Japanese garden. Fundamental to the academic learning experience of the seminar is the site. Apart from on-site lectures in gardens - some not open to the public - the seminar will also include on-site sessions with professional specialists to experience, first hand, the techniques and processes of Japanese garden design and construction. Some days will be divided between site visits and lectures on campus, but there will be several all-day excursions as well. An outstanding feature of the course is the International Symposium halfway through the course.  Plenty of resources (documentations) will be provided by the Center as well as our list of recommended famous gardens and sites in and around Kyoto for you to visit, for which some days are reserved. Graduate students from the University, though limited in number, will be available to guide you on these days.

For more events and opportunities, see

Japanese Gardening Organization’s CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Dear JGO Friends!


As the president of the Japanese Gardening Organization, I smile when I think of all the sharing, discussion and learning we have done over the past 13 years. I take this opportunity to thank you for your support of Japanese Gardening Organization, its resources on this website, and past projects.

As you know, Japanese Gardening Organization (JGO) was created to advance the knowledge, appreciation and application of Japanese gardening, not only for their beauty and aesthetics, but also to promote their restorative effects on mental and physical health and recovery for individuals, communities and society. Since its origin, JGO has developed resources for Japanese gardening enthusiasts of all levels. Through these resources, professionals in the field share their knowledge and passion so that others may build, nurture and enjoy Japanese gardens around the world. Nowhere is our mission more evident than in this web resources and the JGO forums with 900 members and over 16,000 posts on all aspects of Japanese gardening. Members from around the world and all levels of interest share thoughts, questions and opinions on everything from cultural, historic, theoretical, to such practical how to’s as placing stones and pruning an overgrown pine.

Last year, JGO embarked on several new initiatives including:

  • Japanese Gardening Book Reviews reviewed and summarized by fellow Japanese gardeners.
  • Professional Guest Writers share their experiences in articles and how-to’s.
  • Japanese Garden Reviews includes photos and information on gardens around the world.
  • Social Media Network starting with Facebook, JGO shares news and events via social networks.
  • Improved Online Resources including new, faster servers on a secure network, increased limits for forum posts and graphics, and the ability to stream audio and video.

This year we continue with the goal of developing these existing assets while working toward live and local outreach events. Some of this year’s goals are:

  • A Japanese Garden Handbook - encyclopedic resource on every aspect of the art of Japanese gardening.
  • Japanese Gardening Publications Database - searchable database of Japanese gardening publications.
  • World Japanese Gardens Database with photos, history, location and admission information.
  • Social Media focus for sharing inspiration, information, news, and discovering the needs of the Japanese gardening world to provide insight for growth, outreach and development, and to create networks and partnerships around the globe.

Today, I am writing to ask for your support in achieving these goals.  JGO is a 100% volunteer funded and operated 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Just like a garden needs fertilizer, water and care to stay beautiful, JGO needs your support to endure and grow. Your support is a vote of confidence in our organization that will help us continue to improve and grow. 

Please make your donation today.  Its a vote of confidence in the organization and it lets us know you support the work and the mission.

Thank you for your support!

Don Pylant
President, Japanese Gardening Organization

Japanese Gardening Reference

Japanese toolsLearn how to tie a knot for bamboo fences, or decide what tools you need. JGO Reference section includes articles on theory, design and how-to’s on construction, plants, pruning, lanterns, stones, garden terminology and more.

Gardening Reference Library

Japanese Gardening Forums

Black pine care15,000 entries by 800 Japanese Gardening enthusiasts around the world. The Japanese Garden Forum discussion boards include history, design & construction, maintenance, plants, stone, water, bamboo fences, structures, and more.

The Forums

Events & Education

Bamboo fenceLearn how to work with bamboo, prune pines, or build a Japanese garden in events around the world in the events calendar and via discussions in the Japanese gardening forums.

Events Calendar

Japanese Garden Search

Japanese Garden SearchDiscover Japanese gardens on almost every continent in this comprehensive database.  Search by keywords to narrow your hunt.  Includes location, garden info, photos and more.

Japanese Garden Search

Japanese Garden Publications

Building a library or just researching how to build your dry landscape? Search books and publications on Japanese gardening here.  You can also find reviews on Japanese gardening books and purchase them with a percentage going to support JGO at no addition cost!

Publication Search

Japanese Garden Marketplace

Find Japanese garden tools, garden designers, contractors and suppliers in this resource.  Remember that by using these links and contractors, you are contributing to Japanese Gardening Organization and helping it grow.

Japanese Garden Marketplace

Special Sections

Chaji - A Formal Tea Ceremony

A wonderful five part series on the “Way of Tea” by Elliot Mitchnick, Associate Professor of Urasenke, the 400 year old tradition of Tea headquartered in Kyoto, Japan is presented in Chaji, A Formal Tea Ceremony. (If you have Japanese enabled on your browser, you will see most tea terms with their kanji. In addition, most terms have definitions available by holding your mouse over the word.)

Chaji - Formal Tea Ceremony

Ka-tei, Japanese Architecture, Japanese Garden

The essential relationship between architecture and garden is discussed in Ka-tei,  Japanese Architecture, Japanese Garden.  Japanese carpenter, Chris Hall, gives an overview of the relationships between house and garden in traditional Japanese residential architecture. (If you have Japanese enabled on your browser, you will see most terms with their kanji, and most terms have definitions available by holding your mouse over the word.)

Japanese Architecture-Japanese Garden

Sister City Garden Virtual Tour

A profile of a sister city garden, Kumamoto En Japanese Garden,  created in partnership with Japanese designers and craftsmen and US craftsmen. This is a detailed  walking tour with the names and descriptions of the garden features linked to definitions,  English, Romaji, and Kanji names as well.

Kumamoto-en, Sister City Garden

Doubt ...

Japanese garden designer, Mark Bourne, reflects on his experience as apprentice to a Master gardener in Kyoto in “DOUBT, Learning to see the Japanese Garden.

Doubt by Mark Bourne

US Japanese Gardens Tour

K.T. Cannon-Eger and husband Bill traveled by rail across the United States to visit dozens of Japanese Gardens. Follow their adventure in their blog U.S. Japanese Gardens

US Japanese Gardens Tour


The Japanese Gardening Organization (JGO) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization spreading the benefits of Japanese gardening for individuals, groups, communities, and society.  JGO provides educational resources to foster the exchange of culture, knowledge, appreciation and application of Japanese gardening, striving for the highest level of accurate information and resources for Japanese gardening. This organization is supported completely by donations. Your gifts are tax deductible.

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