JAPANESE GARDENS in JAPAN
World Japanese Garden Database
JGO has set the goal of including 1000 gardens worldwide. Check back every few weeks to see our progress!
There are a great many things to see in this roughly square 60-acre park, but chief among these are the tidal pond (Shioiri-no-ike 潮入の池) with its massive floodgate, the duck-hunting blinds, the staggered bridges shaded by wisteria trellises, and a 300-year-old pine cascading down a stepped trellis. Groves of cherry trees and Japanese apricots provide additional seasonal color.read more
The Gyokudō Art Museum, a rare treat for garden-lovers living in Tokyo, is located on a forested hillside overlooking the Tama River, opposite the small town of Mitake in the beautiful Okutama area of Tokyo.read more
The Katsura Rikyū (Imperial Detached Palace) is one of three Imperial Villas of Kyoto and known for its architecture and stroll garden. Originally the estate of Hachijo-no-mia Imperial Family, it is thought to have been designed by Prince Toshihito as Katsura Sanso Estate in the Edo period, although some attribute its design to tea master, Kobori Enshū. The garden contains three main ‘pleasingly rustic’ buildings; Ko-shoin, Chu-shoin and Shin-goten. For the most part, they are constructed with simple, unfinished wood with scarce ornamentation, harmonizing well with the natural surroundings of the hill and pond stroll garden.read more
A short video of the Adachi Museum of Art garden in four seasons More information and images on the official website Comments from the website: “The garden is also a picture.” - The gardens vary in appearance every day. In fact, we might never see each beautiful...read more
Kinkaku-ji gets its name from the “Golden Pavilion” with its top two floors covered in gold leaf. It is formally known as Rokuon-ji (Deer Park Temple). The surrounding gardens were designed to resemble the Western Paradise of Amida Buddha. The beautiful stroll gardens wrap above the pavilion along a small stream that flows into Kyouko-chi (Mirror Pond). It is also the home of the Sekka-tei teahouse.read more
Koke-dera, or officially “Saiho-ji” (Moss Temple) was founded by Buddhist priest Gyoki and redone by Zen Priest and well-known garden designer Muso Kokushi (Soseki) in 1339. Although it is known today as the Moss Temple because of its 120 species of moss, it was not planned this way. Through centuries of wars, destruction, floods, reconstruction and neglect, nature finally claimed Saiho-ji, and the mosses slowly took hold, converting what was left of the garden into a beauty of nature. The garden is more commonly known as the Moss Temple and is home to 120 types of moss.read more
Koto-in was established in 1601 by Tadaoki Hosokawa. He was a famous warrior under Toyotomi Hideyoshi, studied Zen under the Daitoku-ji abbot, Seigan, and was a distinguished disciple of tea master, Sen no Rikyu. When Rikyu was ordered to commit suicide, he left many treasured possessions to Hosokawa. Koto-in is home to two famous tea houses, Shoko-ken (built by Hosokawa in 1628) and Horai. There is a famous wash basin made from a stone brought from the Imperial Palace in Korea.read more
Ninomaru Palace was built in 1603 as the official residence of Shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu. It is a compound of grand buildings and many gardens surrounded by stone walls, thick gates and a moat. The castle was given to the Imperial Family in 1867 and named Nijo Detached Palace (Nijo-jo).read more
The 15 acre Suizen-ji Joju-en is located in downtown Kumamoto. Todatoshi Hosokawa selected the site for the spring-fed pool that provided excellent tea water. He founded the temple named Suizen-ji here in 1632, and began construction on the gardens in 1636. The...read more
Tenryu-ji (Dragon of the Sky Temple) was established in 1339 by Ashikaga Takauji on the site once held as a residence for Emperor Gosaga and Kameyama. Prior to that, Japan’s first Zen temple, Danrin-ji, was founded by Empress Tachibana no Kachiko. The beautiful Sogenchi stroll garden was created in 1345 by Muso Soseki, the temple founder, and is designated a Special Historic Site and a Special Historic Scenic Area. Mount Arashiyama can be seen in the background. It is formally known as Shiseizen-ji, the head temple of the Tenryū branch of Rinzai Zen Sect.read more
Byodo-in was built by Fujiwara no Yorimichi as a Buddhist Pure Land garden at his family’s Villa in Uji, east of Kyoto. The only building of the palace that survives today is the Phoenix Hall 鳳凰堂. Completed in 1053, it was later converted a Buddhist temple. The Phoenix Hall sits on an island facing east where the statue of Amida Nyorai, carved by Jocho, greets the rising sun as he looks across the Pure Land Lake. At nearly a thousand years old, Phoenix Hall is one of the few surviving examples of Heian period architecture.read more
This sub-temple of Daitoku-ji was built in 1509 by Zen Daisho Kogaku Sotan and contains one of the most well-known gardens in the “karesansui” (dry landscape) style. Its symbolism follows the abstract philosophy of the Zen sect. Tea master Sen no Rikyu received Zen training in this temple and held many tea ceremonies here. Paintings by Soami on the screens of the temple point to his hand in the design and construction of the garden.read more
The 8 acre Shin-in Garden (Garden of the Gods) is divided into four parts:
Heian no Sono (south): With its many cherry trees, It also contains many plants identified with passages from the famous Japanese novel, The Tale of Genji.
Seiho (west): The Byakko-ike (White Tiger Lake) is the centerpiece for the West Garden. In June, 2ooo iris are in bloom in the lake here.read more
Use arrows to browse images, or click photo for full screen slide show. Description: Ginkaku-ji, or the Temple of the Silver Pavilion was built by Shogun, Yoshimasa Ashikaga as part of his retirement villa. At his...read more
The view from the foot of Mount Hiei provides a magnificent view of the city and the mountains to the North in a good example of Shakkei (borrowed scenery). This 545,000 square meter villa consists of three parts, Upper Villa, Middle Villa, and Lower Villa. The name comes from the burned Shugakuin Temple from the middle Heian Period.read more
Kiyomizu-dera (Clear Water Temple) was established in the year 778 AD (Nara Period). After a vision, Zen priest Enchin, went in search the origins of the Yodo river. He came to a waterfall at the base of Mount Otowa where mist hovered like clouds. Here he received...read more
Daitoku-ji the ‘temple of Great Virtue’ is a Buddhist temple, one of fourteen autonomous branches of the Rinzai school of Japanese Zen. It is located in Kita-ku, Kyoto, Japan. Daitoku-ji operates some twenty-two sub-temples, the most significant being Daisen-in,...read more
Rikugien was constructed by Yoshiyasu Yanagisawa on this land given to him by the fifth shogun Tsunayoshi Tokugawa. Yoshiyasu spent seven years from the time he was granted the land in 1695 constructing a garden with paths around artificial hills and a pond.read more
Jizō-in is a small Rinzai sect temple constructed in 1367 by Yoriyuki Hosokawa, with the founding priest, Musō Soseki. Stationed in a thick grove of bamboo, this peaceful place is commonly known as "Take-no-Tera" or Bamboo Temple. The stones in the garden represent...read more
Koko-en was constructed in 1992 at the foot of Himeji castle where Samurai residences stood during the Edo period. Its construction commemorated the 100th anniversary of Himeji City. It is named after the Koko do provincial school, founded by Lord Sakai in 1692.
There are 9 individual gardens, including Oyashiki-no-niwa (‘Feudal Lord’s Residence Garden’) and Cha-no-niwa (Tea Garden) with its Sukiya-style tea house, Soju-an. There is also Summer Tree Garden (a garden of deciduous trees), Hill & Pond garden, a garden of flowers popular during the Edo Period, and Garden of the Stream.
From the official website in English: Kodai-ji Temple is located north east of Yasaka Hokanji Temple at the foot of Higashiyama Ryozen Mountains in Kyoto. It is officially called Kodaiji-jushozenji Temple. The temple was established in 1606 by Kita-no-Mandokoro...read more
The Hojo Garden is in the chisen kaiyushiki (garden which is designed around a pond) style and is said to have been designed in the early Edo (1600-1868) period by the monk Gyokuen, who was connected to garden master Kobori Enshu. The garden includes the Shinji-ike (Heart Character) Pond, the Aoi-an Teahouse, and the Tokugawa Gongendo Hall. The cherry blossoms in the spring, the fresh greenery in early summer, the reflection of the autumn foliage onto the Shinji-ike Pond, and the snowy scenery and clear air in the winter can all clearly be seen, and along with imposing view of the Higashiyama mountains in the background, the garden exudes the moods of the four seasons.read more
Saimyo-ji: Founded in the early ninth century by Chisen, a disciple of Kukai, Saimyo-ji is situated on a mountain northwest of Kyoto, above the Kiyotaki River. Like nearby Jingo-ji Temple, it is well-known for its beautiful Autumn foliage.read more
Ryōan-ji (Temple of the Peaceful Dragon) is a Zen temple of the Rinzai sect and an amazing example of karesansui landscape. The simplicity of rammed earth walls, raked gravel and carefully set stones hides a dramatic tale that has been read so many ways. Ryōan-ji is...read more
Zuihō-in is a sub-temple of Daitoku-ji founded by Lord Sorin Ohtomo in 1546 as the family temple. The main hall and gate are original structures. Although Ohotomo was inspired by the teachings of Zen Buddhism by Tetsushu, the 91st patriarch of Daitoku-ji, he was...read more