This private domestic garden is located in a residential neighborhood of Seki City in Gifu Prefecture and was created in response to a request for a traditional Kyoto-style garden that would harmonize with a newly built home featuring a modern design.
This garden villa is comprised of three gardens: the entrance garden inside the front gate, the inner garden on the north side of the living room, and on the south side of the living room, a main garden that faces the dining room and Japanese-style room.
The entrance garden depicts clouds hanging over mountaintops by setting standing stones in white sand, burying semi-cylindrical roof tiles around them, and using rust-colored sand between the tiles to adjust their shading.
The inner garden features a Misaki-style lantern surrounded in white sand and an artificial mound with a large 13-tier pagoda and that has Kirishima azaleas and dwarf mondo grass planted on it. Traditional approaches to Japanese gardening have been used to liken the white sand to an ocean and the artificial mound to a central island.
The main garden is built to complement the home’s modern design. It features a rectangular pond at its center, with a pond garden and a lawn garden flanking either side of the pond, a feature often seen in Kyoto gardens.
For the waterfall stone arrangement, whose water flows into the rectangular-shaped pond that uses cut stones for its stone embankment and stepping stones, we used a bold design that arranges stone slabs in tiers so that water not ony flows down from the tops of the slabs, but also drips down from their sides.
Additionally, the pond garden uses natural stones for the stream’s embankment and even retains strikingly traditional Japanese gardening forms such as water basins. Stones such as Kurama stones, Kibune stones and Benikamo stones taken from the Seven Stones of the Kamo River*, which are virtually synonymous with Kyoto, were used as garden stones. By contrast, the natural stones used for the waterfall stone arrangement are taken from the Kakamigahara area of Gifu and are chert stones, which are also used in the oldest gardens of the Kyoto region.
Finally, we planted many maples in addition to cherry blossoms, plum blossoms so that the garden’s autumn leaves would shine in the fall. Thus was born a garden that combines modern design with traditional design.
*The Seven Stones of the Kamo River is a collective term for Kamo River stones, which are some of the most representative stones used in Japanese gardens. They are comprised of Kurama stones (light brown stones from the Kurama area), Maguro stones (deep black stones), Kibune stones (blue-tinted stones from the Kibune tributary of the Kamo River), Itokake stones (silica stones that look like they are wrapped in thread), Fugoroshi stones (a flint stone known as a “”lowering basket”” said to have once been delivered using rope baskets), Kumogahata stones (chert stones from the Kumogahata area) and Benikamo stones (red colored chert stones).
Location: Seki City, Gifu
Accessibility: not open to the public
Garden construction period: in 2013
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