Koto Heian no Yado Kanade is an accommodation facility that opened in the Okazaki area of Kyoto’s Sakyo Ward in 2017. Starting from the late eleventh century, this area flourished as the place where six famous temples collectively known as the Rokusho-ji Temples were established, and also as the political center where Emperor Shirakawa and several other cloistered emperors ruled from. It occupies the heart of the area where Ogawa Jihei VII, master gardener renowned for the garden villas he created in the Nanzen-ji Temple neighborhood, was active in the modern era. It has been a landscape preservation zone since the Meiji period (1868-1912). Based upon this historical background, we created a garden that takes the “Okazaki area” as its conceptual center.
Koto Heian no Yado Kanade’s garden space has three gardens: an entrance garden on the facility’s north side, a main garden to the south, and a Zen garden to the west.
At the entrance where guests are received, emphasis has been placed upon harmonizing with the history, land, and scenery of the Okazaki area. We installed a stone pagoda modeled after the famous nine-story pagoda that is thought to have stood in this region during the Heian period (795-1185). There is also a tokusabei (or rough horsetail) fence, a favored feature in the modern garden villas of this neighborhood. The shoe-removing stone found in the entrance path and front garden area is a large one that is hard to obtain today that we have surrounded with small natural stones.
In the dry landscape Zen garden used as a private garden for guest rooms, we expressed “Zen in history” by using scenic stones, water basins, and a bamboo fence woven in a style unique to Nanzen-ji Temple (called “Nanzenji-gaki”).
In the main garden on the building’s south side, we arranged a dry waterfall and gravel stream to express scenery that transitions from a scene of mountains to the east (the Higashiyama mountains) to one of a rustic village in the west. As nearly all the garden villas in the Okazaki area used the Higashiyama mountains as borrowed scenery, we installed an observation deck looking out at the Higashiyama mountains from the west side of the garden space. To connect the scenery to the mountains, we have planted red pines (akamatsu)—once the principal trees found on the Higashiyama mountains—as well as other native species such as azaleas that bloom with purple flowers and broad-leaved evergreens.
Even the dry waterfall to the southwest has been created as a waterfall “flowing out of the Higashiyama mountains” with the intent of connecting it to the mountains. In contrast with the mountain scenery to the east, on the west side we planted fruit trees and flowering plants found in villages such as gardenias, sasanqua camellias and Kirishima azaleas. Also on the garden space’s west side are Moriyama stones, which Ogawa Jihei VII often carried from Shiga Prefecture using the Lake Biwa Canal, that have been set in place to provide a unique stripe pattern accent. This is a garden that remembers to harmonize with the surrounding environment by incorporating scenery from the trees in the neighboring garden to the south. It also features nighttime lighting that focuses on the dry stream emanating from the dry waterfall at the center, so that the garden cannot only be visually appreciated, but actively used for parties and other occasions.
Location: Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture
Accessibility: Open to the public (for facility users)
Garden construction period: 2017-18
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