The Japanese Gardens

Elements / Ponds and Shorelines

The pond gardens of Japan have shorelines that are as varied as the coast of Japan itself. They range from the simplest meeting of land and water—only a line of wooden posts marking the border—to rocky shores suggesting cliffs rising from the sea. Between these two extremes is the pebble beach that appears to have been a major component of the earliest Imperial or noble gardens and continued to be a feature of gardens associated with the Emperor. In what seems to be a response to a principle cited in the Sakuteiki—that garden designers should recall the landscapes they have seen—many pond gardens feature rocky peninsulas punctuated by a detached “island,” a common sight off the eastern coast of Honshu.

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Taizo-in Murin-an Nijo Castle Kenroku-en
Saiho-ji Kyoto-Gosho Hokongo-in Tenju-an
Honen-in Kyoto Gosho Daisen-in  
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