History and pictures of Japanese Tea Garden
A tranquil yet practical place : )




The Japanese Tea Garden (Chaniwa) is a tranquil and yet practical place, featuring buildings and furniture which once facilitated Tea ceremonies. Nowadays, you can create one to simply relax in and enjoy the world as it passes you by.

Japanese Tea Garden design consists of an inner garden or tea house which is surrounded by the outer garden.

History and pictures of Japanese Tea Garden - Sorakuen in Kobe Hyogo prefecture Japan by 663highland (Wikimedia)


The outer garden is entered first and is designed as waiting place to set the mood until being invited to enter the inner area for the tea ceremony. This first part of the garden was meant to entice - to create a mood of anticipation for the coming tea ceremony.

The two areas are separated by a simple barrier, like a bamboo gate or a moss-covered rock wall, with an opening to walk through.

To experience and appreciate the essence of a Japanese tea garden you must understand a Japanese culture that links us with nature.

Visitors were expected to walk along a narrow garden pathway called a roji leading to the teahouse. The roji might be beset with stepping stones or raised wooden planks flanked on either side by a garden pool filled with koi.

Near the entry way to the inner garden, a stone water basin will be set where visitors could conveniently rinse their mouths and hands.

This low basin is called tsukubai, it is built low to the ground so that your visitors would have to crouch or kneel to use it. A ladle will be provided and laid across the basin, usually under the base was a flat layer of gravel placement can represent water in the garden design - to reflect the ocean.




Japanese Tea Garden - Japanese tea house at Kodai-ji in Kyoto - Japan by Wikimedia


As the path drew closer and into the inner garden, ideally the scenery should become more restful and calm.

Flower plants are often not being used, but a lot of ferns, mosses and shrubs that usually found in mountain woods will be present there.

The tea house itself is made of simple materials with an austere presence to match the natural surroundings, a single perfect blossom will be placed inside the tea house.

Japanese Tea Garden - Inside view of Japanese Tea House at the Museum fur Ostasiatische Kunst Berlin Dahlem by Gryffindor (Wikimedia)

Inside view of Japanese Tea House at the Museum fur Ostasiatische Kunst Berlin Dahlem by Gryffindor (Wikimedia)


Japanese Tea Garden is the very ceremonial tea garden with really minimalist: a thatched building holding one person making tea and outside a few strategically placed plants. Traditionally there are cherry trees for blossom, bamboo for later in the season like Sacred Chinese Bamboo which gives real colour in the Autumn and Winter periods.

Although Japanese Granite Lanterns (Ishi-Doro) were originated from China into Japan long ago and later they were for use in gardens, but it wasn't until they were introduced into Japanese tea gardens by tea-master Sen-no-Rikkyu did they become a major garden element.

Japanese tea ceremonies were often held in the evenings and light was needed to guide guests to the tea-room.

You can always mimic the beauty and essence of a Japanese tea garden right in your own yard by incorporating key design elements to create a peaceful sanctuary.

The entire design approach is by simplicity above all else - with simplicity in mind, there are still hundreds of design aspects that can be employed in a Japanese Tea Garden. Talk to your good landscape architect : )

Japanese Tea House - Japanese tea room layout plan - showing position of tatami, tokonoma, mizuya, entrances, hearth, guests and host by Bamse (Wikimedia)

Japanese Tea House - Typical winter tea room layout plan in a 4 .5 mat tea room, showing position of tatami, tokonoma, mizuya, entrances, hearth, guests and host by Bamse (Wikimedia)





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Japanese Tea Garden is a tranquil and yet practical place, the outer garden is entered first and is designed as waiting place to set the mood before enter the inner area for the tea ceremony.







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