Return to Japan 2010 & 2016

Japanese Gardens & Bridges


      • Chaniwa Gardens are built for the tea ceremony.They contain a tea house, stepping stones that lead towards the tea house, stone lanterns and a stone basin, where guests purify themselves before participating in the ceremony.
      • Karesansui Gardens reproduce natural landscapes in a more abstract way by using stones, gravel, sand and patches of moss for representing mountains, islands, boats, seas and rivers. They are strongly influenced by Zen Buddhism and used for meditation.
      • Tsukiyama Gardens (artificial hills). Ponds, streams, hills, stones, trees, flowers, bridges and paths are used to create a miniature reproduction of a natural scenery. Smaller gardens are usually enjoyed from a single viewpoint, such as the veranda of a temple, Larger gardens are experienced by following a circular trail.

There are 3 types of Japanese Gardens:

Kanazawa’s Kenroku-en Garden is considered one of the “three most beautiful gardens in Japan”. The name Kenroku-en means ‘Six Attributes Garden’ which is thought to be the perfect garden if it has 6 atributes:  spaciousness, seclusion, artificiality, antiquity, water-courses and panoramas. It is difficult to find a garden even with 3 or 4 of these attributes. Kenroku-en has them all.

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Ginkakuji Temple

      in Kyoto has a sand garden with a cone shaped structure rising 2 meters up called the

Moon-viewing Platform

    . There are several theories about this: some believe it is meant to reflect divine light into the hearts of the visitors….or to resemble Mount Fuji… others say it was designed as a simple mound of sand used to replenish the walkways.


Nikko: Shinkyo sacred bridge, considered one of the most beautiful structures in Japan. It could be used only by the emperor before. Now it is used by paying tourists.

The simplest bridge is a step-stone bridge,  letting a pedestrian to cross a natural watercourse or a garden’s water feature.

The zig-zag Japanese bridge myth: they prevent evil spirits from moving through them. Reality may be just that zig-zag bridges  are attractive and interesting to walk over.

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