Category: Japan

Lines on the Shore: Olive Bay Hotel on Oshima Island, Japan

In our series of articles about the islands in the Nagasaki Prefecture, this article looks at a recent example of contemporary architecture on Oshima Island (Ōshima), Saikai City district, Japan. The Olive Bay Hotel with architectural design by Kengo Kuma blends the remote and tranquil island environments of the region’s volcanic coast and the industrial context, with a luxurious retreat atmosphere. …

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The Sea and the Mountain in a Sacred Dance: Itsukushima and Mount Misen, Japan

The Island of Itsukushima is located in the Seto Inland Sea (Setonaikai), in the Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. It is one of about 3,000 islands that are part of the Setonaikai National Park (瀬戸内海国立公園), which was designated in 1934 (Setonaikai National Park, 2017). Miyajima (宮島町, Miyajima-chō) is the historic town located on the island of Itsukushima. …

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Japanese Flowering Cherries, the standard book by Wybe Kuitert (free online book)

With the cherry blossoms in full bloom it is a good moment to point out that the standard reference book on Japanese Flowering Cherries by Wybe Kuitert, with Arie Peterse, with a foreword by Roy Lancaster, is now free and authorized available online. Japanese flowering cherries have inspired gardeners for more than twelve centuries. They are closely …

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The Zen Garden & Why Use the Word Zen?

Prof Wybe Kuitert of the Seoul National University explores in this article the subject and origins of the “Zen Expression” in the garden art of Japan. He investigates how the theme and expression of Zen appears to not be found in old Japanese Garden texts and neither in early twentieth-century literature on the subject of garden …

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Liveable Cities’ Liaison with Heritage and Open Spaces

Annual surveys and lists of ‘World’s most liveable cities’ each differ but there are some clear trends from which interesting lessons can be learned. These ‘World’s most liveable cities’ surveys indicate for instance how heritage, nature and qualitative open spaces are key factors in making cities healthy environments for living. This brief article wonders how a reconnection …

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Composition of scenery in Japanese pre-modern gardens and the three distances of Guo Xi

Wybe Kuitert explores in this article traditional East Asian landscape composition through Chinese and Japanese sources and drawings, supplemented by investigative research at the rock garden at Daisen-in, Kyoto, and the larger seventeenth-century garden without rocks at Jiko-in, in Nara. In doing so he enhances our understanding of the spatial illusion of the Japanese pre-modern garden. Part of the …

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Cherry Blossoms in San Francisco: Hakone Gardens and the Japanese Tea Garden

There are more than 300 public Japanese gardens in North America and the West Coast of the United States is the home of many splendid Japanese or Japanese-inspired gardens. If you ever pass through San Francisco I can recommend two remarkable Japanese gardens for a visit. The Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park in …

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