Japanese Garden Landscaping

Japanese Garden Landscaping

Familiar with Japanese landscape gardens? Well, it has been a very important art of Japanese society, dating back to several centuries. The three broad divisions of these gardens are hill gardens, tea gardens and dry gardens. Let’s see what the differences among these three are and how much do they actually relate to their names.

Tsukiyama gardens are the Japanese name of the hill gardens. The term ‘Tsukiyama’ is basically an indication to the making of fake hills. But these gardens are not only related to hills, they are all about streams, lanes, ponds, trees, stones, flowers, bridges and much more. Basically all these elements are used to mock an area of natural scenery. They are quite well-known in Japan. Now, an interesting feature is that they can have a variety of ways in which they can be viewed. If it’s a small Tsukiyama garden, you might experience a single theme while a large Tsukiyama garden would be best viewed if you go along a round scrolling path.

The second landscaped garden is the Chaniwa Gardens which are the tea gardens. As you might have guessed, they were basically established for celebrating tea ceremonies. You are sure to spot stepping stones in these gardens. By following these, you could end up in the tea house. You would also see stone lanterns and a tsukubai that is a stone basin, where you could wash your hands and clean yourself before joining this tea party. So, the structure of these gardens contains a tea house and this is where the ceremony is being held in reality. They are fashioned in artistic plainness so as to conform to the conceptions of the tea ceremony.

Moving forward, Karesansui Gardens are the dry gardens. As the name implies, they are not very ‘green’. Basically, they focus on some abstract ways of demonstrating natural landscapes. You might see a lot of stones and sand in such gardens and even moss to depict where the mountains, islands, boats and water bodies stand. These gardens are usually very strongly dominated by the Zen Buddhism. There basic purpose is to be used for meditation and contemplation. To the normal beauty loving eye, they might not seem to be very pleasing.

The concepts behind these gardens are quite creative and different from the normal. You might have noticed that nowhere is a fountain or artificial water source mentioned. It is so because the gardens are supposed to give as natural an appearance as a human being can create. The artificial sources are constructed with so many meanders and irregularities that it seems to quite natural.

Tsukiyama Gardens, Karesansui Gardens and Chaniwa Gardens have gained significant importance over the years as this art is becoming known globally. In modern era, they have become popular tourist attractions, which provide incentive to the society to carry forward their imaginative ideas and concepts. So, they are not to be missed and all three of them should be observed to grasp the differences and the concepts behind them.

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