The Best 10 Traditional Japanese Botanical Gardens

The Best 10 Traditional Japanese Botanical Gardens

The Best 10 Traditional Japanese Botanical Gardens

Traditional Japanese gardens are famous all over the world. These gardens highlight the beauty of nature, and avoiding artificial, man-made components wherever possible. The first of these gardens began to be built on the island of Honshu around 600 A.D., and they became popular among Buddhist monks as an environment free from distractions.

The oldest existing garden is believed to be Kenroku-en, which dates back to 1630. This garden was designed by artist Kobori Enshu and is located in Kanazawa, a city on Honshu’s west coast. The garden features several ponds filled with koi fish and waterfalls that flow into ponds below, representing the flow of time and change in nature. While many traditional Japanese gardens are found in temples or shrines, they can also be found on large estates or in homes as private gardens.

Places of Contemplation, and an Escape from the frenzy of Modern life

The Japanese garden designs are not just about the beauty, but also about the spiritual value. They are designed to reflect nature, and they can be used to represent different seasons or aspects of life.

The Japanese have been creating traditional gardens for hundreds of years, and these have become a source of national pride. They were created with a focus on simplicity and minimalism so that natural beauty could take centre stage, They are peaceful and serene, and provide a space for meditation and contemplation.

The use of water in traditional Japanese gardens is a major feature. The ponds and streams represent the ocean, and the plants surrounding them represent islands. The garden itself represents Japan which is surrounded by water and this is symbolic because Japan is an island nation. Traditional Japanese gardens also include hills made of rocks or earth that represent mountains, which symbolise strength and power. Now, ponds or lakes symbolise calmness, stone lanterns symbolise enlightenment; and bamboo represents growth and evergreen life.

The Captivating Beauty about Japanese Botanical Gardens

These Gardens are a reflection of the beauty of nature. The garden can also be used for relaxation, exercise, or even as a place to play with children.

The captivating beauty that these gardens possess lies in their simplicity and peacefulness. There is nothing complicated or fancy about them, just simple plants, gravel paths and ponds.

They are a reflection of the Japanese people themselves; they appreciate simplicity, cleanliness, and orderliness. They love nature and want to preserve it at all costs, which is why they built these beautiful gardens with pure water streams running through them and small koi fish swimming around happily in their ponds.

These Japanese botanical garden are so important because they help the people to  understand more about their past while also giving them an insight into how the ancestors who had lived during the ancient times.

The table below shows the research findings on the top 10 best rated and most reviewed Japanese Botanical Gardens in Japan. These result were obtained from Google Maps and will likely be changed as time goes on.

The Top Rated Traditional Japanese Botanical Gardens in Japan

Botanical Gardens Ratings Reviews
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden 4.5 32 489
Hamarikyu Gardens 4.4 8 825
Kenroku-en 4.4 26 561
Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens 4.4 2 167
Ritsurin Garden 4.4 9 710
Murin-an 4.4 1 149
Kyoto Botanical Gardens 4.3 4 722
Koishikawa Botanical Garden 4.3 2 068
Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens 4.3 4 595
Kiyosumi Gardens 4.3 3 578

The most reviewed Japanese Botanical Gardens in Japan

Botanical Gardens Reviews Ratings
Okayama Korakuen 11 382 4.3
Kairakuen 7 992 4.1
Rikugien Gardens 7 001 4.3
Sankeien Garden 5 796 4.3
Former Furukawa Gardens 4 397 4.2
Kyu-Shiba-rikyu Gardens 1 556 4.2
Tonogayato Garden 1 188 4.1
The Tsukuba Botanical Garden 1174 4.3
Yumenoshima Tropical Greenhouse Dome 1 070 4.1
Kasuga Taisha Manyo Botanical Gardens 423 4.3

This research was done based on the score of the best rated and most reviewed Gardens in Japan, looking at the first table,  Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden takes the trophy for the first place with a rating of 4.5 and then followed by a couple of Botanical Gardens stealing the second  place which are Hamarikyu Gardens, Kenroku-en being the oldest Garden of all time, Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens, Ritsurin Garden and then Murin-an all sitting with a score of 4.4 last but not least followed by Kyoto Botanical Gardens, Koishikawa Botanical Garden, Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens and thenKiyosumi Gardens with a score of 4.3 not far off from second place. 

The second table shows the most reviewed Gardens, starting with Okayama Korakuen sitting with a score of 11 382 reviews taking the first place, followed by Kairakuen taking the second place with a score of 7992 and then third place with a score of 7 001 is Rikugien Gardens. These Botanical Gardens, being the oldest in the history and well maintained, will definitely attract people from all over the world to go sightseeing and this will therefore generate more ratings and reviews.

Walk in the History of the Japanese Traditional Botanical Gardens: Summary

Walk in the past but live in the present, the Japanese gardens were designed to illustrate an idealised version of nature, with plants that were chosen for their symbolic meaning rather than their beauty or ease of maintenance. Today’s Japanese gardens combine traditional ideals with modern beauty, resulting in beautiful landscapes that are more accessible to contemporary gardeners.

These gardens are made to be walked through and enjoyed on foot. Some feature streams and ponds with bridges; others include extensive bonsai collections; while still others focus on viewing cherry blossom trees. 

The best Japanese Garden – worth a visit

The gardens are an example of how the Japanese people have always been able to walk in the past but live in the present.

They are an example of how people used to live in harmony with their environment. It’s also a lesson on how we can live better lives by being more aware of our surroundings, appreciating what we have already, and not taking everything for granted and also how we can learn from our past, so we can live in harmony with nature, while still enjoying our modern lifestyle.

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