20 Stunning Japanese Gardens Around the World (4)



The Japanese rock gardens (karesansui) or “dry landscape” gardens, often called “Zen gardens”, were influenced mainly by Zen Buddhism and can be found at Zen temples of meditation. Karesansui gardens can be extremely abstract and represent (miniature) landscapes also called “mind-scapes”. This Buddhist preferred way to express cosmic beauty in worldly environments is inextricable from Zen Buddhism.

Unlike other traditional gardens, there is no water present in Karesansui gardens (or the karesansui compartment of a garden). There is gravel or sand, raked or not raked, that symbolizes sea, ocean, rivers or lakes. The act of raking the gravel into a pattern recalling waves or rippling water has an aesthetic function. Zen priests practice this raking also to help their concentration. Achieving perfection of lines is not easy. Rakes are according to the patterns of ridges as desired and limited to some of the stone objects situated within the gravel area. Nonetheless often the patterns are not static. Developing variations in patterns is a creative and inspiring challenge.

Stone arrangements and other miniature elements are used to represent mountains and natural water elements and scenes, islands, rivers and waterfalls. Stone and shaped shrubs are used interchangeably. In most gardens moss is used as a ground cover to create “land” covered by forest. Other, mostly stone, objects are sometimes used symbolically to represent mountains, islands, boats, or even people. Karesansui gardens are often, but not always, meant to be viewed from a single vantage point from a seated position.

Source: Wikipedia


16. Suizenji-jojuen Garden – Kumamoto, Japan

Photograph by 63highland


17. Keiunkan Garden – Nagahama, Japan

Photograph by 63 highland


18. Japanese Rock Garden – Koyasan, Japan



19. Japanese Gardens – Portland, United States

Photograph by STEPHEN GRAY


20. Como Park Conservatory – Minnesota, United States

Photograph by KRISTI SAUER

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