Kurimoto Japanese Garden

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Information About Japanese Gardens

Japanese gardens are representations of nature, although some are quite abstract while others are literal representations. They serve as places of meditation. The aim of these gardens is to capture nature with a touch of artistic feeling. Japanese gardens are influenced by Shinto, Buddhist and Taoist philosophies.

There are different styles of Japanese gardens which varied over the course of Japanse history.

Raked Sand and Stone Gardens: A common type is the raked sand and stone garden [image at right]. These gardens reproduce natural landscapes in an abstract way by using stones, gravel, sand and sometimes a few patches of moss for representing mountains, islands, boats, seas and rivers. Sand and stone gardens are strongly influenced by Zen Buddhism and used for meditation.

Landscape Gardens: Another type of garden is the landscape garden where ponds, streams, hills, stones, trees, flowers, bridges, lanterns and pathways are used to create a miniature reproduction of a natural landscape. Landscape gardens vary in size and in the way they are viewed. Smaller gardens are usually enjoyed from a single viewpoint, such as the veranda of a temple, while larger gardens contain strolling paths.

Tea Ceremony Gardens: A third type of garden is the tea garden built for the Japanese tea ceremony. These contain a tea house where the actual ceremony is held and are designed in aesthetic simplicity according to the concepts of sado (tea ceremony). Tea gardens typically feature stepping stones that lead towards the tea house, stone lanterns and a stone basin (tsukubai), where guests purify themselves before participating in the ceremony.

The Kurimoto garden serves as both a landscape and tea garden. While many visitors simply walk through the garden, regular tea ceremonies are held in the tea house at the southwest corner of the garden.

In depth discussions and examples of Japanese Gardens are found on the Internet using the search terms: Japanese Gardens, Tea Ceremony.

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