Japanese Strolling Gardens also referred to as promenade gardens, go-round style gardens and in Japanese as Kaiyu-shiki-teien. Japanese Strolling Gardens normally feature a central pond or small lake with path going around it.

Japanese Strolling Gardens first started to be constructed during the Edo Period (1600–1854), when the houses of the wealthy or powerful were often built in the sukiya-zukuri style of architecture. The sukiya-zukuri style of architecture centers around the concept of the house being built in the style of a Japanese tea house. To match the style of the house, the garden was constructed using some of the elements of the earlier Japanese Tea Garden style, but without adhering to some of the stricter requirements, such as the inner and outer garden. Japanese Strolling Gardens normally feature a path, that should be walked in a clockwise direction, around a pond or small lake. By following the path the visitor is presented with a series of scenes which are specifically intended to be viewed at key points around the path. Frequently Japanese Strolling Gardens will feature the style or technique of "borrowed scenery", shakkei, which uses elements outside of the garden such as temples or mountains to create the illusion that the garden is much larger than it actually is. Japanese Strolling Gardens also use the style or technique of miegakure, or "hide-and-reveal", which uses the angle or direction of the path, buildings, thick foliage or fences to hide a particular key scene until the visitor is at the ideal viewing point. Japanese Strolling Gardens often employed the technique or style of recreating a famous scene in miniature, such as the Mt Fuji scene in the Suizenji Park.

Japanese Strolling Garden - Suizenji Park Kumamoto

Japanese Strolling Garden - Suizenji Park Kumamoto



Suizenji Park

Suizenji Park (Suizenji Koen) is considered to one of the most beautiful Japanese gardens in Japan . Suizenji Park is Kumamoto's second top tourist attraction.



Bokugoan, also known as Ho-o-ji Temple, is a Buddhist temple that was originally established in Nagaokakyo-shi in the 6th century. Bokugoan was moved several times before 1888, when it was placed on its current site next to Nanzenji Temple in Kyoto. Bokugoan is a sub temple of Nanzenji Temple. Bokugoan features a small Japanese promenade garden just inside the front gate of the temple, which the public can often see through the gate. This garden looks particularly beautiful when the Autumn leaves are red and orange.

Katsura Imperial Villa also known as the Katsura Detached Palace, which is related to Kyoto Imperial Palace, but on a different site (hence detached) in western Kyoto. Katsura Imperial Villa features some of the best Japanese garden in all of Japan. Although the gardens are considered important, buildings are considered more so, with the whole site being considered one of Japan's most important large-scale cultural treasures.

Shugakuin Imperial Villa also known as the Shugakuin Detached Palace is a separate, but related site from the Kyoto Imperial Palace (hence detached) which features three main gardens and some tea houses. These Japanese gardens are considered to be some of the best in Japan. Shugakuin Imperial Villa is in the eastern hills of Kyoto.


Korakuen Garden

Korakuen Garden is one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, and is designated as a Special Place of Scenic Beauty. Korakuen Garden is next to Okayama Castle, Okayama.


Kiyosumi Gardens is a traditional Kaiyu-shiki-teien style (strolling) Japanese garden in the Fukagawa District of the Koto Ward Tokyo. Kiyosumi Gardens, which covers 81,000 square meters, was created for Iwasaki Yataro between 1878-85. Kiyosumi Gardens is dominated by a large lake, which features three main islands, with one connected to the lake edge via a bridge. There are also several stepping stone pathways through the shollower parts of the lake. Kiyosumi Gardens also features a tea house.

Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden

Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden is one of the two surviving Edo Period Japanese gardens in Tokyo. Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden, also known as Kyu Shiba Rikyu Onshi Teien (Former Shiba Villa Gardens), is just the other side of Hamamatsucho Station from the World Trade Center Tokyo, where you can look down from its Seaside Top observation deck into the garden. Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden features a large central pond, Sensui, with four island and circular walking path going around the pond. There is a bridge that connects the largest island Nakajima to the shore.

Rikugien Garden

Rikugien Garden is a beautiful traditional Japanese garden established in 1702 (Edo Period) along with the villa for Yoshiyasu Yanagisawa, which features the six elements from Japanese tradition. Rikugien Garden features a pond with islands and man made hills, which is typical of this sort of garden in the Edo Period. This is know as the Kaiyu-shiki-teien or strolling or Promenade Style. Rikugien Garden is held in high regard and is designated as a Special Place of Scenic Beauty. Rikugien Garden was opened to the public in 1938.

Author: Craig Fryer

Japanese Gardens


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