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Gardens of the Japanese Garden

The Stone Garden is a zen mineral garden
Photo: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Michel Tremblay)
Zen Garden
  • Zen Garden
  • Bonsai Courtyard
  • Tea Garden
  • Tea Garden

The Stone Garden

The creation of a Zen or mineral garden is as much dependent on the rules of art established by the ancient masters as on intuition in its purest sense.

In this garden, created by Mr. Ken Nakajima, eleven peridotite stones stand as islands in a sea of white shirakawa sand.

The Bonsai Courtyard

Thanks to the generosity and friendship of the Japanese, the Bonsai Garden harbours a collection of rare beauty.

In 1989, the Jardin botanique was offered a superb collection of thirty bonsai by the Nippon Bonsai Association Inc.

Carefully cultivated and maintained for many generations, these miniature trees, varying in age from 25 to 350 years, bear the heart of the Japanese people and evoke the friendship that unites Canada and Japan.

From spring to fall, visitors may admire specimens of Japanese maples (momiji), of the ginkgo or maidenhair tree (ichô), and many junipers (shimpaku) and azaleas (satsuki).

The Tea Garden

A tea garden, roji in Japanese, is intended to prepare guests for the tea ceremony.

Such gardens traditionally have two parts, an outer garden and an inner one, leading to the tea house.

Like the tea ceremony itself, the design of these gardens is based on techniques and rules developed over hundreds of years. The stones and plants are carefully arranged to create sober, natural-looking tableaux. The shrubs, like the serviceberry used here, highlight the cycle of the seasons. The moss suggests the passage of time. The tobi-ishi, or stepping stones, direct visitors' footsteps.

Everything in this orderly garden inspires calm and serenity. The tsukubai, the basin in which visitors wash before the tea ritual, forces them to stoop and show their humility, a prerequisite for the ceremony. The stone lantern, created for tea gardens, plays a practical and aesthetic role. A visit to a tea garden is a pleasant experience, offering beauty for the eyes and harmony for the soul.

This garden, dedicated to the memory of Mr. Hector Dupuis, first Canadian Executive Vice-President of Toyota Canada, was made possible thanks to the generosity of Toyota Canada Inc.

The plans for the Tea Garden were donated by the City of Hiroshima.

The Tea Garden is open to visitors from May to November as part of a guided tour or tea ceremony. Ask at the desk inside the Pavilion or consult the program of activities.

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