The Japanese Gardens


Considering the world-wide interest in Japanese gardens, one finds relatively few web sites dealing with history of the classic gardens of Japan, and those that exist are often unillustrated. The following are among the more useful sites, although some of these are relatively limited in the amount of information they provide. We will be happy to add other valid links at the suggestion of visitors (click on "Comments" above)

Special Interest

The Research Center for Japanese Garden Art and Historical Heritage in Kyoto holds a two-week intensive seminar for foreigners in late October and early November of every year. Information can be obtained by going to the Seminar Website, or by using the Center's e-mail address:


Kyoto . General information for visitors to the city, including a long list of temples plus answers to important questions: where are they, how do you get there, when are they open, and what fee do they charge?

Paradise--The Gardens of Tokyo. A new website created by photographer Tim Porter features extraordinary black and white photographs of the historic gardens of Tokyo. A very important addition to the growing number of important sites dedicated to the gardens of Japan.

General Sites

The Japanese Garden Journal. This informative and beautifully produced bi-monthly publication is indispensable to anyone interested in Japanese gardens or the influence of Japanese aesthetics on contemporary garden design. Published and edited by Douglas Roth, the Journal combines sound technical advice with insightful analyses of the principles of Japanese design. Unlike many contemporary publications, it is careful to distinguish between truth and myth where Japanese gardens are concerned. With frequent contributions by other experts in the field.

Meditations on the Japanese Garden. William Will has created and manages this splendid new site dedicated to the growing community of those who love Japanese gardens or simply want to know more about them. Highly recommended.

Japan File: Japanese Gardens. Marc Keane's brief but excellent history of Japanese Gardens. For Professor Keane's invaluable printed publications on the subject, click on "Bibliography" at the top of this page.

The Japanese Garden Data Base provides a starting point for browsing the Internet. A comprehensive and well-designed site, it includes links, images, and information of a wide-ranging nature.

JAANUS is an online dictionary of Japanese terms dealing with art and architecture, including gardens. Terms are listed alphabetically by the romanized spelling, followed by the Japanese character. An invaluable source.

The International Association of Japanese Gardens has an important web site that includes information about membership and upcoming events.

William Corey has put together a fine collection of his photographs of the gardens of Kyoto and other Japanese sites. A well designed and useful resource.

General Information on Zen. Part of the Zen Buddhism WWW Virtual Library. An invaluable source on all matters pertaining to Zen, including important source links.

Japanese Architecture in Kyoto displays some interesting photos of temples and gardens, including some winter scenes.

Beauty of the Japanese Garden is an ambitious site undertaken by Chisao Shigemori. Currently it appears to be largely under construction.

The Japanese Garden. An informative site created by Elizabeth Kim as her contribution to a course given at Columbia University.

Specific North American Gardens and Garden Societies

There exist web sites for a number of Japanese gardens constructed in North America, together with local garden societies dedicated to Japanese gardening. Most of these are included among the resource links listed in The Japanese Garden Data Base. I have linked only those that go beyond a basic introduction to a specific garden and include materials relevant to this site.

Slawson Creations. A new website featuring the gardens of David Slawson, one of America's major designers of Japanese-style gardens, and leading authority on the gardens of Japan (see our bibliography).

Japanese Garden, Portland, Oregon. A beautiful site featuring the garden designed by Professor Takuma Tono in 1963.

Japanese Friendship Garden, San Diego. Includes an interesting section by Professor Lennox Tierney on the principles inherent in Japanese gardens.

Soul of the Garden. A site dedicated to gardens in general, but with an interesting section on Japanese gardens, and with many links.

Kumamoto-en. A non-profit educational resource for the Japanese gardening community. Associated with San Antonio's Botanical Gardens and its Japanese-style garden--Kumamoto-en--the site contains a wealth of information about the botanical and manufactured components of a Japanese garden.

The Webster Japanese Garden. An interesting site dedicated to William Webster's "bonsai style" Japanese garden, with fine images and Mr. Webster's essays.

Miscellaneous Sites

Japangarden. A commercial site, but with many useful links and general information.

OnMark Productions. A site established by Mark Schumacher, a resident of Kamakura. Like the preceding link, this site is commercial, but it contains fine photographs and good information.