Kyoto Heian Hotel Garden
- AddressTatsumae-cho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto City
Stroll-style pond garden
Outline of garden
Address : Tatsumae-cho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto City
Period of garden construction : 1922 (repaired)
Garden designer : OGAWA Jihei VII (repaired)
Garden style : Stroll-style pond garden
Site area : 1,650 m2
Public openness : Open (No admission fee)
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Kyoto Heian Hotel, surrounded by low stone walls, is located on Karasuma Street amidst a green environment that extends along the Imperial Palace. After passing through the lobby from the front gate, you come to a large pond garden with greenery and sunlight shining in, even though you are in the center of the city. In the old days of Kyoto, there might have been a lot of hidden gardens like this.
Photo-1. Large pond garden with greenery
The garden of the Kyoto Heian Hotel was originally constructed as a garden with a pond and a path for a court noble's residence in the late Edo period. It was repaired by famous landscape artist OGAWA Jihei VII (1860-1933), also known as Ueji, in the Taisho period (1912-1926), and then again renovated at the time of the reconstruction of the Heian Kaikan (Kyoto Heian Hotel) in 1980.
The front pond of the garden can be seen directly from the restaurant with its double-stone zigzag "yatsuhashi" bridge made of Shirakawa-ishi white granite stone from Kyoto in the foreground and an arbor behind the trees in the background. The distance between those elements, which embraces the space of various green patterns and bold stone arrangements, makes the scenery appear wider.
Photo-2©. The front of the pond seen from the restaurant
Photo-3. Arbor behind the trees in the background
Photo-4. Double-stone zigzag "yatsuhashi" bridge over the pond
Standing on the lawn area, a small stream flows into the pond from a far forest. The forest contains a series of waterfalls. Near the building, another stream springs up from a well in the lawn area, bringing the gentle sound of water close.
Photo-5. Small stream flowing into the pond from a far forest
After walking on the stepping stones in this stream, the "Ryurin" arbor appears with its wide windows on the elegant red wall. The window frames the scenery in such a way that the undulating moss mound receives the sunlight shining through the leaves of the trees as if in a mountain village.
Photo-6. Stepping stones in the stream
Photo-7©. Arbor called "Ryurin" with wide windows and the elegant red wall
The waterfall seen from the lawn area flows down between the hills of fresh green moss. This brilliant technique is profoundly reminiscent of the Ueji style of landscaping that creates a mountain stream using a small amount of water and alters one's impression, from that of it being just a moss slope to become a landscape like a deep mountain.
Photo-8. Hill of fresh green moss
Photo-9. Mountain stream using a small amount of water
Since 2012, the garden of the Kyoto Heian Hotel has been included in the top five Japanese gardens in Japan by the Journal of Japanese Gardening, a professional journal on Japanese gardens and Japanese architecture published in the United States. The beautiful and carefully maintained scenery has made it a popular site among foreign visitors. Why not explore the secret of this popular garden that can be visited freely in the corner of Kyoto?
Photo-10. Octangle stone washbasin surrounded by stone arrangement
*©-marked photos provided by Kyoto Heian Hotel