Japanese-Style Gardens

September 2004

General Sites


This site offers a wide variety of information about Japanese gardens. It features a "garden of the month" (usually generously illustrated with photos) and a database of Japanese gardens. It is a non-profit, educational project aimed at raising awareness of Japanese gardens.

Special Feature: Japanese Gardens

This site notes that landscape gardening in Japan has had a 1,300-year history, so naturally Japanese gardens come in many different styles. This special feature of Nipponia magazine looks at the Japanese love of gardening, and what it is about landscape gardens that people find especially appealing. See also "Creating Gardens"
(http://web-japan.org/nipponia/nipponia8/sp03.html) in the same issue.

Japanese Garden

Provides a general overview of Japanese gardens and includes numerous pictures.

Japanese Garden Design Principles: On the path toward a successful garden

Discusses the basic design principles of Japanese-style gardens.

Best Public Japanese Gardens

This map indicates the name and location of the top 25 public Japanese gardens in North America, as determined by the Journal of Japanese Gardening. The map does not contain active hypertext links to each garden, but enough information is provided to find many of the gardens' individual Web sites.

Web Articles

This page is an index of 40 articles on Japanese gardens that discuss design principles, history, how-to, and plants.

Japanese Gardens at K-12 Schools

Oak Grove Elementary School Japanese Garden

Through a $3,000 grant from Sumitomo Life Realty, Oak Grove (Georgia) students created a Japanese garden as part of the school's Cultural Arts Program. Each student from pre-kindergarten through sixth grade worked on various features of the dry garden, known in Japanese as karensansui.

A Symbol of Peace: The Oakhurst Elementary Japanese Peace Garden

Oakhurst Elementary (Fort Worth, Texas) students and the Oakhurst community built their own Japanese Peace Garden. The garden showcases stone, wood, and brick pathways that meander through the tranquil place. Visitors enter through Japanese gates and walk paths that take them over a dry stream, beside a turtle garden, near a dry waterfall, and into a Japanese teahouse.

Japanese Style Garden

A Japanese style garden is situated on the grounds of Frankston High School, and was officially opened in 1997 by Dr. Ohashi, Mayor of Susono, the sister-city of Frankston City. Several additional pictures of the garden can be found at http://www.japaneselifestyle.com.au/garden/

The Japanese Garden at Craig High School

The information in this page is about the Japanese garden at Craig High School (Janesville, Wisconsin), along with other Japanese gardens in general. It discusses what all the parts of the garden symbolize, how to maintain a garden, photos of the garden and other gardens people have put together, and links to other sites.

Ashland High School Memorial Garden

A collection of photos and videos illustrating the Ashland (Ohio) High School Memorial Garden, designed and constructed by students from the Ashland High School Horticulture Department. This garden represents a combination of two Japanese garden styles, the Tea Garden and the classic dry-landscape Zen garden.

West Springfield (Virginia) High School Japanese Garden

http://www.fcps.k12.va.us/westspringfieldhs/yr03-04/ jgarden/jgarden.shtml
This garden, designed and created by students in Ms. Beth Jewell's science classes and Mr. Adam Podell's Japanese classes, is a collaborative project that has resulted from Ms. Jewell's Fulbright Memorial Fund Fellowship. Contains numerous pictures and a link to a site that offers additional information about the garden.

Japanese Water Garden Built on Playground

Teachers, parents and ecology-minded community members built a Japanese-style water garden on the Edmunds Elementary School (Burlington, Vermont) playground. Greenery, flowers, rocks and water provide an ideal spot for children and families to enjoy nature in the schoolyard. The water garden follows an underground stream that bubbles up and over the rocks and washes over hand-made ceramic tiles.

Lesson Plans

Creating a Japanese Rock Garden

In this lesson plan, grade 2-12 students investigate the aesthetics, traditions, and natural resources used in rock gardens of Japan and then develop their own miniature Japanese rock gardens in small cardboard boxes.

Huntington Botanical Garden Program: Japanese Garden

This site presents 5 lesson plans for students in grades 4-7: "Gyotaku: Japanese Fish Painting"; "Haiku: Writing and Observation in the Japanese Garden"; "Seasonal Scroll Painting: Art and Observation in the Japanese Garden"; "Exploring the Elements of a Japanese Garden through the Book Arts"; and "Zen Gardens: Design Elements and Symbolism in the Huntington Japanese Garden."

Designing a Japanese Garden

Fourth-grade students of Rosedale (Indiana) Elementary School teacher Mary Ellen Williams used graph paper to design their own Japanese gardens. After each design element, students drew that element on their garden plans until they had each completed a design, ready to implement during classroom garden-building sessions.

How To Make A Pie Tin Garden

Part of a second grade study project entitled "Discovering Japan" at Highland Park Elementary School, Austin, Texas, this site discusses how to make a miniature Japanese garden in a pie plate or other shallow container. See http://www.hipark.austin.isd.tenet.edu/projects/second/japan/japan.html for descriptions of other projects: Japanese lanterns, origami, fish kites, papier mache fish, Japanese fans, and haiku.

Japanese Gardening - A Style Shaped by Its Culture and How It Contrasts with Western Style Gardening

http://www.kodak.com/global/en/consumer/education/lessonPlans/ lessonPlan116.shtml
Describes a project in which sixth-grade students at Keeven Elementary School, St. Louis, Missouri identified the symbolic elements of Japanese gardening and the religions from which these symbols and elements were derived. Students prepared photojournals that compared Japanese and Western gardening styles and that served as a basis for student lectures to other classes.

Comparative Aspects of the American and Japanese Cultures as Reflected in a Japanese Friendship Garden

This lesson is intended for grades 6-12 but adaptable to other levels, and was developed after a National Consortium for Teaching about Asia sponsored visit to the Japanese Friendship Garden in Phoenix, Arizona. See http://www.asu.edu/clas/asian/k12/Galvin_2.ppt for a series of PowerPoint slides that presents numerous photographs of the Japanese Friendship Garden.

Compiled by Roger Sensenbaugh

The use of trade, firm, or corporation names in this publication is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by the National Clearinghouse for U.S-Japan Studies.

Internet Guides are made possible through the support of the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership.