Last weekend in amongst all the craziness of HYPER JAPAN I decided to take a few moments of peace for myself and visit Kyoto Garden in Holland Park. Despite having lived in London for a number of years, I had never made it to Holland Park, so this was my first time to visit the Japanese garden there.
Kyoto Garden was opened in Holland Park in 1991.In 2012 a small additional garden called Fukushima Garden was added to the garden in memory of those affected by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. You can read about the opening ceremony here.
Kyoto Garden features Japanese trees and plants, waterfalls and a pond, and even some koi carp. Despite the weather not being at its best, the garden was still beautiful, and it was lovely to see some autumn colours in a Japanese setting. I miss Japan even more during spring and autumn when I see all my friends’ posts on Facebook of cherry blossom and autumn leaves, so it was nice to have a little bit of Japan for myself.
The sign in the garden reads:
The Kyoto Garden in this park is in the “tour garden” style, one of the typical traditional garden styles of Japan. The trees are trimmed with special care to emphasise their natural shapes to make the most of the original lines of their trunks and branches. The three-step waterfall symbolises steep mountains and deep gorges, while the pond depicts a vast ocean view. In this way, the entire garden represents, in condensed form, the grandeur of natural landscape. The pond is graced with garden paths and a stone bridge. Along the path, toro (stone lanterns), tsukubai (a stone washbasin) and shishiodosi (a bamboo alarm for animals) are positioned at appropriate places to please visitors. All of these features are carefully arranged so that visitors may enjoy the seasonally changing atmosphere and landscape of the garden. The garden has a unique beauty. Time is an element that adds to the garden’s natural beauty. The climate affects the original design over the years, making the garden’s landscape even more natural and fitted to its locality.
Kyoto Garden is a beautiful little place to relax and forget that you are in London. I could have sworn I had finally found myself a dokodemo door and transported myself to Kyoto itself.