Japanese Garden Training Program

The application period for our 2024 training seminar is now closed.
Check back later for the dates of our 2025 seminar!

About this Training Program

Ueyakato Landscape has been a part of Kyoto’s landscaping business for many years. Recently, we have received many requests to provide training. Due to the work we do at many gardens, however, we have found it difficult to coordinate programs in response to individual requests. Therefore, we have created a new training program for those interested in in-the-field training at a Kyoto landscaping company. This is a 5-day program taught by Ueyakato Landscape’s veteran gardeners, with training at gardens under our company’s management. In accordance with our company’s mission to pass on the tradition of Japanese gardens to the future, we will provide scholarships covering half the cost of program participation for applicants deemed capable of contributing to the continuation and further evolution of Japanese gardens.

Program Mission

As Japan’s capital, Kyoto was the seat of national culture for 1,200 years. Garden culture was no exception, and today Kyoto still has many gardens that have been designated national cultural properties. Both in terms of garden creation and garden management, Kyoto has evolved an aesthetic sense of its very own that is still alive today.

This program aims to break down Kyoto’s unique garden aesthetic by looking at the relationship between its gardens and environment, while also sharing knowledge that participants can practically develop upon at gardens in their home regions.               

How are gardens evaluated in Kyoto? And why? By focusing on these questions while conducting actual garden training, this seminar will give participants an experiential grounding that goes far beyond mere learning.

Program Details

The Environment of Kyoto and Japanese Gardens
—Sharing an Aesthetic Consciousness Nurtured Since Ancient Times—

There are all kinds of Japanese gardens. In Kyoto, gardens have been created for over 1,000 years, their forms changing with each passing period. Yet in every age, one thing Japanese gardens have always shared is their expression of nature.

Already by the eleventh century, it was written that gardens should be created “by emulating nature.” The Sakuteiki, the world’s oldest garden creation manual, teaches garden creation technique and aesthetic taste that remains valid today.

Kyoto is a place surrounded by mountains on three sides that is rich in water resources. The gardens that developed in this city incorporated and made full use of the stones and scenery made available by the surrounding natural environment. In other words, the secret of Kyoto gardens’ beauty lies in how they use the surrounding environment to express nature.

Over this five-day program, we aim to give participants a grounding in the aesthetic sense lying in the background of Japanese garden beauty. On the morning of our first day, our company president Tomoki Kato, who is also a professor at Kyoto University of the Arts, will lecture on garden management and the relationship between Japanese gardens and their surrounding environments. In the afternoon, we will visit gardens managed and fostered by Ueyakato Landscape. The second day will be dedicated to garden management training in how to nurture landscapes that incorporate their external scenery.

The program’s last three days focus on the key to Japanese garden creation: stone arrangements. First, we will visit gardens and discuss how their stones were chosen and arranged. We will then have participants create their own garden scenery under the advice of Ueyakato Landscape gardeners.

By spreading knowledge of the Japanese garden aesthetics that were developed in Kyoto, training program forms part of our important mission to pass beautiful Japanese gardens to future generations.

April 22-26 (Mon.-Fri.), 2024
Day 1
AM Lecture (Lecturer: Tomoki Kato, Professor at Kyoto University of the Arts)
PM Garden excursions(Traditional gardens under Ueyakato Landscape management)
Welcome lunch
Day 2
Garden management training(Garden fostering that incorporates the surrounding scenery)
Day 3
Garden excursions(Stone arrangements and scenic views of Kyoto gardens)
Day 4
Garden creation training (How to select and arrange stones+garden designs)
Day 5
Garden creation training (Completing a stone arrangement)
Dinner party
¥800,000- (We offer financial assistance scholarships. For details see “Scholarship Program” below.)
*The above tuition covers the cost of tools, footwear, travel expenses and garden entry fees during training as well as lunchtime food and drink expenses, and a dinner party on the last day. Participants bear the cost of lodging expenses and travel expenses to Ueyakato Landscape.
5 people.
*Applicants will be screened in that the event we receive many applications. We thank you in advance for your understanding.
Application Deadline:
February 12, 2024 (Mon.)9:00 JST
How to Apply:
Fill the required items into the form below and submit your own resume. There is no required format for the resume, but please make sure to include the following information.     
  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Education Record, including higher education major
  • Employment Record
  • Reason for applying to this program (Maximum 1page)
Scholarship Program:
Ueyakato Landscape will cover half of the training cost (¥400,000-) for applicants it deems capable of contributing to the future continuation and further evolution of Japanese garden culture. For details about our scholarship program please refer “To Apply.”

To apply 

Items and services supplied by this seminar

Seminar cost covers the following:

  • Training instruction (+English language interpretation)
  • Tools and footwear used during training
  • Transportation expenses during training
  • Garden entry fees during training
  • Lunchtime food and drink for 5 days
  • Dinner party on the final day
  • Instructional texts

Participants shall bear the cost of lodging expenses and travel expenses to Ueyakato Landscape as well as any food expenses not included here.

What to bring with you

Please prepare the following items to participate in this course.

  • Work clothes (Clothing easy to move in and that is okay to get dirty)
  • Rain gear (Raincoat)
  • Towel
  • Hat
About our scholarship program

Ueyakato Landscape will cover half of the training cost (¥400,000-) for applicants it deems capable of contributing to the future continuation and further evolution  of Japanese garden culture. Scholarship applicants will be evaluated according to how their participation in this program will contribute to the future of Japanese gardens. All application materials should concisely convey how previous education and work experience have contributed to the applicant’s interest and understanding of Japanese gardens and outline their future aspirations for furthering Japanese garden culture.

Evaluation criteria

  • Prior experience in Japanese gardening (or landscape gardening)
  • Concrete plans for contributing to Japanese garden culture
  • Concrete plans for communicating Japanese garden culture to the public

Application materials

Those wishing to apply for scholarship funding should submit the following materials in addition to a resume.

Statement of Purpose (1 page)

Please describe as concretely as possible how this course will help you further your professional and/or personal goals to contribute to Japanese garden culture. Application statements should address all three evaluation criteria above, but you may choose to focus on one or more of them as may be appropriate to your background.

Portfolio (if available)

Please submit any portfolio material you have that is relevant to the aims of this course.

Submit all application materials via the application form.

After applying

After we receive your application, we will process it according to the following timeline.

Application receipt

(Applications may be screened depending upon the number of applicants)

 Notification of acceptance/payment method notification

 Payment by applicant

Participation registration is finalized when payment is confirmed

The application deadline is February 12, 2024 (Mon.) 9:00 JST. Applications may be reviewed after the deadline in the event we receive many applications. In that case, we may contact you about an additional application assignment. We will contact you about how to make program payment by mid-February if applications are not reviewed, and by early to mid-March if they are reviewed. When you receive payment instructions, please make your payment through PayPal. Those not accepted to the program will receive notice in mid-March.

 What to know about staying in Kyoto
  • Please dress in easily adjustable clothing. Kyoto’s temperature fluctuates widely between morning, daytime, and evening. This program’s training period also takes place during the time of year where there are both warm days and cold days.
  • We recommend staying at a hotel or other lodging facility nearby Ueyakato Landscape.
    *Ueyakato Landscape is located at a one-hour bus ride from Kyoto Station.
  • Kyoto has many stores and restaurants where credit cards cannot be used. Please come prepared with cash.
  • Ueyakato Landscape accepts no responsibility for accidents occurring outside program training.
  • Please make your own lodging arrangements and your own transportation arrangements for getting to Ueyakato Landscape from your place of lodging.
  • Participants will be notified about our cancelation policy when they receive their acceptance notification.
  • We regret that we are unable to set aside time for prayer during training. We thank you in advance for your understanding.


Tomoki KATO:

As Ueyakato Landscape company president and a professor at Kyoto University of the Arts, Tomoki Kato has been consistently committed to pursuing and promoting an active Japanese garden tradition based on solid skills, knowledge, and aesthetic taste. As a scholar, he conducts research grounded in practical learning that contributes to how Japanese gardens are both managed and enjoyed today. He gives frequent lectures both in Japan and abroad, including the 2014 and 2018 keynote speeches at the international conference of the North American Japanese Garden Association (NAJGA).

Sueo KATO:

The former president of the Council of Conservation Technicians for Cultural Property Gardens. Working for his family’s landscaping business since the age of 15, he has created and managed gardens for temples, private residences, and commercial facilities. He became a full member of the Council of Conservation Technicians for Cultural Property Gardens, the designated conservation techniques preservation group of Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs, when it was founded in 2002. He is involved in directing repair work for gardens that are cultural properties both in Kyoto and throughout Japan.

Graduated from Kyoto University of the Arts, Graduate School, majoring in Art and Environment in the field of Japanese Gardens.

Tomohiko MUTO:

Ueyakato Landscape’s Tomohiko Muto has been head gardener for Keihanna Commemorative Park for ten years, where he applies traditional skills to fuse Japanese garden scenery with broader pastoral landscapes such as mountain forests and a natural pond. He is a veteran Japanese gardener who is equally experienced in the art of teaching. He has taught Japanese garden management and creation extensively to non-Japanese speaking students both in Japan and abroad and excels at explaining not only the techniques of Japanese gardens, but also the philosophy that underlies them.

This project is organized by theHeritage and Garden Artistry Division of Ueyakato Landscape.
If you have any inquiries other than above, please contact to the following email address.

Click here for inquiry form

Heritage and Garden Artistry Division
Ueyakato Landscape
email: chizai@ueyakato.co.jp

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