FUKUJUEN Kyoto flagship store “the garden in the sky”Gardens created|Gardens managed

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Fukujuen was founded in 1790. Today it might be called a comprehensive trading company that not only sells tea but also aims to carry on and continue creating the tea culture of the Uji region of Kyoto prefecture. It even has an Uji Tea Workshop (Ujicha Kobo), a facility where visitors can experience Uji tea culture, and CHA Yugaku Park (“Tea Learning Park”), which includes a facility for tea research. Fukujuen founded the Fukujuen Kyoto Flagship Store to create Kyoto products featuring depth and a world of inspiration that has both luxury and grace.

The flagship store was created according to the concept of transforming an entire building into a garden, in the spirit of tea living in the idea of having a “mountain residence in the city” (shichu no sankyo) where people can feel nature as they enjoy their tea from anywhere inside, all while remaining in the city. Thus, we came up with the idea of a “”garden in the sky”” using original “garden architecture” that traverses time and space to resurrect in new garb the essence of the Uji tea culture that developed under the influence of Japan’s dynastic culture and by thriving deep within people’s hearts. Professor Hiromasa Amasaki of the Kyoto University of Art and Design, known as one of the leading figures in research into Japan’s cultural property gardens, provided constant oversight and direction, from the planning of this idea to its design and construction.

Traditionally, Japanese gardens have employed the technique of “likening” (mitate): taking stones, hills and trees and likening them to famous places and mountains from different areas. Here too, at the Fukujuen flagship store, the layout is done in a traditional Japanese garden design that evokes a gardenesque image by using likening techniques.

Thus completed, this space, which has one sub-ground and nine above-ground floors, is equipped with both traditional and ryurei-style tea houses, has different floor patterns on each floor such as checkerboard and cloud motifs, and even various designs in the lavatories that call to mind the basin arrangements of Japanese tea gardens, making it a pleasure just to look at the inside of each room. Additionally, the courtyards installed on each floor feature tea-related images that are extravagant yet simple and organized according to themes such as tranquility, austere simplicity (wabi) and nostalgic tea field landscapes.

To condense together the nature and historical culture of Kyoto, which has fostered an Uji tea culture that forms an integral part of the world, using not only the setting of the ancient capital, but also those of areas ranging from Toganoo to Yamashiro: That’s the “garden architecture” of Kyoto’s Fukujuen flagship store.

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Location: Simogyo-ku, Kyoto
Accessibility: not open to the public
Garden construction period: in 2008

the 2014 Selected Landscape-architectural Designs (PDF)
FUKUJUEN Kyoto flagship store website

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