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The 5 Japanese Zen gardens to visit

Magical places, rich in tradition and beauty: here are the 5 Japanese Zen gardens to absolutely visit if you have planned a trip to the land of the rising sun.

Japanese Zen gardens

5 Japanese Zen gardens to visit

If you are looking for the 5 best Japanese zen gardens to meditate or simply admire, you are in the right place. The classic example of a Zen garden (dry garden par excellence) is composed of three basic elements: water, stones and plants, arranged in a harmonious way. The virtues of balance, symmetry and simplicity are the common thread of all these types of gardens, thus tracing the zen culture.

Daisen-in, Daikotu-ji, Kyoto

Japanese Zen gardens

The gardens of this monastery metaphorically represent life. The small waterfall in the rock garden is channeled into a stream that reaches the sea (the lake). The three elements (waterfall, river and sea) represent the three stages of life: birth, life and death.

Kenrokuen, Kanazawa

Japanese Zen gardens

Kanazawa is considered one of the most beautiful Japanese Zen gardens in the country. Defined as the garden of the six elements combined (immensity, solemnity, planning, venerability, freshness and landscapes), it is a place of absolute suggestiveness. The real dry garden is located behind the Tea House, with combed sand, regularly arranged rocks and constantly moving water.


Kaikakuen, Mito

Japanese Zen gardens

The “garden to appreciate together with the people” literal translation of the name, is one of the first public gardens in Japan. The park is dotted with plants that change color according to the season and gravel paths that allow you to move around. Again, Japanese Zen gardens are found behind the teahouses, with combed sand and soft rocks representing the stages of life.

Ginkaku-ji, Kyoto

Japanese Zen gardens

The Zen temple is located in the eastern mountains of Kyoto and is famous for its 2-meter high sand cone representing Mount Fuji. The temple is inspired by the Golden Pavilion, the most famous temple in the city.

Kencho-ji, Kamakura

Japanese Zen gardens

Built in the 13th century, it is the oldest monastery in Japan. Muso Soseki, one of the country’s most famous landscape architects, designed the Zen garden inside. The shape is reminiscent of the Chinese character meaning mind, demonstrating the desire to create a place for meditation. In fact, it is one of the best Japanese Zen gardens to find calm and inner balance.


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