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Japanese gardens: what is magic?
You won’t find any flower bouquets here, there are no streams of concrete bicycle paths, no barbecue areas. Japanese gardens are not like the ones we used to see. They are not like anything else in the world, and they are not even like each other. They are different in every eye of the one who looks at them. For tourist with camera and map, on which he just want to put a ‘check mark’, and for man who came to talk with garden, who is looking for inspiration here and unity with nature, the garden will tell various stories. Architect Sergey Makhno visited all the most famous gardens in Japan – nearly 50 in common. Talking about his five most beloved ones.
Adachi Museum Garden of Art, Yasugi
Year of creation: 1980
Area: 160 thousand sq m
Is known for: traditional garden, white stone garden, artistic gallery. 7 years in a row it was recognized as the best garden in Japan.
Founded by local businessman Adachi Dzenko, who was for years collecting various types of coniferous trees, beautiful stones and mosses for the creation. The complex was constructed in such a way that the road to the gallery, which contains unique exhibits of Japanese art and ceramics, runs through glass pavilions with magnificent views of the gardens. There are also open paths, but you can't walk through the gardens by yourself.
Garden is called the museum of live art, and Adachi himself is always repeating that the garden is also an art work, just alive, is changing its paints according to the season.
Around the garden life rages, several lively roads pass through, but you can’t see anything besides it. Here is a very deep perspective, calculated with geometric precision. Owners of the garden even bought back surrounding mountains so that no one could spoil the landscape by bringing up a modern skyscraper.
Moreover, here is a unique collection of mosses – over 50 species. Velvet of all shades of green. I just want to roll up in the blanket and take a nap for an hour.
Another feature of Japanese gardens – lake with huge carps – symbol of Japan.
Year of creation: 1875
Area: 114 thousand sq m
Is known for: It is one of Japan's three most popular gardens. Garden of six merits, including wide space, calmness, masterful design, traditional elements, water and stunning views. Gathered more than 200 representatives of flora.
We advise you to come here early in the morning or closer to the sunset. Otherwise, there is a chance to get into the crowd of 20 buses of tourists with selfie-sticks – the garden is really popular.
Kenroku-en is beautiful at any time of the year. In autumn – it is a meditative contemplation of how the red carpets farewell to their leaves. In spring, color of sakura reminds us that nothing but love in this world is a real importance. And in winter between the tops of trees ropes stretch – to protect them from breaking under the weight of snow. And this is a special magic.
Symbol of the garden is the stone lantern Kotodzi-toro, which is like a lighthouse guarding shore of the pond.
Ryōan-ji Stone Garden, Kyoto
Year of creation: 1499
Area: 300 sq m
Is known for: Park is one of the most important shrines of Zen Buddhism – the Ryōan-ji temple. It is listed on UNESCO's list as the most valuable historical object and cultural monument.
In "Sakuteki" – the most famous treatise about creation of gardens, dated 1289 year, many pages devoted precisely to the art of location of stones. The manual says that the author of the garden can’t place any stone as he wants. First, you have to ask a stone, wherever it wants to lie and follow its desire.
Rocks and sand here are like sea and land, two inseparable entities. 15 stones of the garden are laid out in such a way that from any point of the gallery, with all efforts, you can see together no more than 14 stones. It is believed that only the person who achieved true enlightenment can see all 15.
Zen garden, a garden of meditations and reflections on the meaning of life. This garden is about intimate nature of nature, not about its appearance. About what is really an essence.
Garden of Sagawa Museum of Art, Moriah
Year of creation: 1998
Is known for: The bell of southwestern bell tower of the temple on Mount Hiiy, works by artist Hiraim Ikuo, sculptor Sato Churio and ceramist Raku Kitzajamon.
It was opened to the 40th anniversary of establishment of shipping company Sagawa Express. It is called the "floating" museum and what awaze here the most is that interaction of architecture and nature.
Area around the museum is a beautiful traditional Japanese garden with floating islands. Escalated roof of modern building, also like an island, sail over the surface of the ponds. Look at this grey. Only Japanese can do it like that. This is a special measure of calmness.
It is a true place for thoughts like who you are today and who you are going to be tomorrow, what you will inherit for your children and grandchildren, your country and the world.
Peony Garden, Sukagawa
Year of creation: 1766
Area: 100 thousand sq m
Is known for: 7 thousand diverse and colorful peonies. 290 species. Japanese authorities declared it a place of special art.
This is a magical place where flowers bloom even in winter. Wood peony, sung in all types of applied art – it appears on engravings, kimonos, traditional caskets - a true miracle of nature.
And they created a garden purely for practical purposes – for the production of medicines. Now, there are exhibits gathered here, which exist only here and nowhere else. For example, the 200-year-old trees «Sjova Dream».
Park is open all year round, but peonies are blooming from early spring until the end of May. In June, roses bloom, and in October-November there are 50 shades of twilight leaves. It is a place where Instagram bloggers go crazy!
No matter what garden will be first to meet – don’t forget about the main thing. Japanese garden is contemplation. This is the adoption of nature and yourself as you are. It's a chest full air and life.