The austere beauty of Japan's many gardens has captivated the imagination of poets and artists for centuries. Photographed by John Lander.
Published on Jun 8, 2015
Engetsukyo Bridge, or "full moon bridge" in Tokyo's Koishikawa Korakuen Garden, is built in a Chinese style, and takes its name from the perfect circle formed by the arch and its mirror image.
A poetic garden
Innumerable paintings and poems have been dedicated to cherry blossoms, for which Rikugien—Garden of the Six Principles of Poetry—is aptly famous. Besides the spring floral viewing ritual, visitors come for the 88 scenes from a classic verse depicted in the design and layout of this garden.
Stepping stones through Japan
Kiyosumi Teien sits on a spot developed 400 years ago as the home of a business magnate. A feudal lord changed it into a garden, and, in 1878, 55 rocks were chosen from across Japan and implanted here. It is a favorite place to stroll.
Tsutenkyo Bridge at Koishikawa Korakuen Garden is one of the city's oldest and most beautiful. Like most traditional Japanese gardens, it attempts to reproduce famous landscapes from China and Japan in miniature, using a pond, stones, plants and a man-made hill.