Private Home Garden in Seki City
The Sato Villa is located in Seki City, Gifu Prefecture. The request was to create a Japanese garden that would keep the aura of a traditional Kyoto style Japanese garden, while harmonizing with the recently build modernized villa.
There are 3 gardens, the entrance garden just inside the front gate, the central garden on the North side of the living room, and the garden that can be seen from the South side of the living room, the dining, and the Japanese style room.
The entrance garden represents an image of mountains with clouds hanging over the top. The base is white sand with scenic stones, semi-cylindrical tiles are buried around the scenic stones to make the outline of the clouds, light rust-brown colored sand in the clouds give a soft contrast.
The central garden also has white sand and uses “misaki toro” or promontory (legless) lanterns. On top of a miniature hill planted with Kirishima azalea (Rhododendron obtusum) and modograss (Ophiopogon japonicus) is a 13 tier stone pagoda. This Japanese garden uses traditional techniques where the white sand represents the sea and the miniature hill is Nakashima Island.
The main garden was made to compliment the modern design of the main building. In the garden center is a rectangular canal pond with cut stone embankment and stepping stones. On either side is a pond garden and grass garden, both of which are common in Kyoto gardens. There is a waterfall arrangement of stone slabs that cascade down into the rectangular pond. Incorporated is an innovative design where the water also trickles off from the sides instead of just flowing off of one area of the stone slab.
The techniques of traditional Japanese garden design are strongly reflected in the use of natural stones in the pond garden embankment and waterfall to the rectangular pond, as well as the incorporation of a “tsukubai” (stone washbasin).
The garden uses stones distinctive to Kyoto; kurama stone, Kifune (river) stone, and the red Kamo stone; all of which are known as one of the 7 Kamo stones (from around the Kamo River). The natural stones used for the waterfall stone arrangement are chert stones from around Kakamigahara (Gifu Prefecture), which are commonly used in old gardens around Kyoto.
There are several sakura, ume (plum), and maples planted, and it is designed so that the fall colors will shine. Thus, another aspect of how this garden is a combination of modern designs and traditional designs.