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Garden design is an important Japanese art form with an intricate history partially rooted in Zen Buddhism. Elements such as ponds and stones represent both physical aspects of the Earth and abstract concepts relating to spirituality, whereas tea houses and stone water bowls add a scenic component to the space, making it more hospitable to guests. Over time, Japanese gardens have evolved to serve different purposes, but the traditional concept of combining the elements of stone, water, foliage and man-made features have remained an integral part of creating these unique havens for finding solitude and admiring the four seasons.
Due to the asymmetry and meticulous approach to each garden’s design, no two are alike – which is apt given that they are also intended to reflect the transient nature of the changing seasons. Here are some of the most celebrated Japanese landscape gardens in Tokyo, which offer particularly fine examples of all the elements that make up a traditional nihon teien (Japanese garden).
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