Famous Japanese Gardens Outside Japan
Japanese gardens are quite literally living works of art. Their aesthetic appeal lies in the fact that they are constantly changing with the different seasons, and yet at the same time, they always maintain an air of constant stillness and peace, as if, even while changing externally, their basic nature remains the same. Japanese gardens typically contain a raised “house” or pavilion at the center, from which the garden is meant to be viewed. Other traditional elements of the Japanese garden include: precise stone arrangements, one or more bodies of water (either real or symbolic), an island, a bridge or stepping stone path to the island, lanterns, a teahouse, and traditional fencing, such as stone or bamboo fencing. Because their appeal is nearly universal, it’s not surprising that some of the most beautiful Japanese gardens can be found outside of Japan. Here are a few of the most well known Japanese gardens from around the world.
1. Buenos Aires Japanese Gardens
The Japanese Gardens in the Argentine capital were completed in 1967 by the Japanese Argentine Cultural Foundation. Their inauguration marked the visit to Argentina by the then-prince of Japan, Akihito and Princess Michiko. One of the most stunning features of this garden is the carp lake, pictured here.
2. Cowra, Australia
The Japanese Garden in Cowra, Australia is the largest Japanese garden in the southern hemisphere. It was created as a memorial to the Japanese prisoners of war who died in Cowra’s POW camp during World War II. The gardens were designed by renowned Japanese gardener Ken Nakajima and they are in the style of the Edo period’s “strolling gardens”, meant to display all of Japan’s different landscape types.
3. The Japanese Tea Garden, San Francisco
The Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco’s famous Golden Gate Park was originally built as part of the 1894 World’s Fair. It is the oldest public Japanese garden in America and one of the most beautiful. It spans 5 acres and contains many different paths, adorned by views of ponds, Japanese and Chinese plants, sculptures, bridges and bamboo fencing.
4. Portland Japanese Garden
The Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon is one of the most authentic and beautiful outside of Japan. It takes up 5.5 acres of land and contains five different distinct Japanese garden styles. There is the sand and stone garden, the natural garden, the flat garden, the stroll garden and the tea garden.