Tag: Japanese Gardens

Kyoto’s Nijo Castle

Around 1600, the Tokugawa family became the dominant power in feudal Japan. The Emperor was essentially a figurehead. The Tokugawas moved the administrative capital from Kyoto to Edo (Tokyo), while the Imperial Court remained in Kyoto. Nijo Castle, completed in 1628, was built as the Kyoto residence for the head of the Tokugawa family – …

Kenrokuen Garden

One of the reasons we traveled to Kanazawa was to see Kenrokuen Garden. It is officially designated as one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan. Why aren’t there officially Three Great Gardens of the United States? (Although if they were designated now, strings would undoubtedly be pulled to make one of them Mar-a-Lago.)

Rikugien, a Tokyo Stroll Garden

Rikugien was completed around 1700, commissioned by the son of a high-ranking official. Eventually, it was purchased by the family that owns Mitsubishi, then turned over to the public. This was our second visit to this garden, since we were here last August.

Tokyo’s Hama Rikyu Garden in the Rain

Our first day in Tokyo this past September, Judy and I visited Hama Rikyu Garden. Some four hundred years ago this garden consisted of a shallow pond and marshland used by feudal lords for duck hunting. Today, however, it is surrounded by the skyscrapers of downtown Tokyo.

Koishikawa Korakuen Garden, 2017

Yesterday Judy and I revisited the Koishikawa Korakuen Garden in Tokyo in time to see the Spider Lilies (Lycoris radiata) bloom. Tomorrow we fly back to Chicago.

Kenrokuen Garden

Okochi Sanso

Another garden we saw in Japan is called Okochi Sanso, near the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest on the outskirts of Kyoto.

Gold Is Good, But Not Necessarily The Best Garden

Kinkaku-ji, the Temple of the Golden Pavilion, was first built around 1400. It predated and served as a model for the Temple of the Silver Pavilion (Ginkaku-ji), which I wrote about in my last post. (It took me a long time to remember which pavilion was silver and which was gold. Ultimately I was able …

The Beauty of Mosses at Ginkaku-ji

Ginkaku-ji started out as a retirement villa on the outskirts of Kyoto for a 15th century feudal lord. Originally, the main building was supposed to be covered with silver. Ginkaku-ji, in fact, means Temple of the Silver Pavilion. Civil war caused the silver idea to be indefinitely postponed, yet the name stuck.

Hama Rikyu

Hama Rikyu is a large green space located where the Sumida River flows into Tokyo Bay, just across from Tokyo’s central fish market.