Famous Japanese Gardens

Japanese gardens are popular worldwide because of their tranquility and beauty. This is evidenced by the fact that this style of design has been adapted to suit almost all four corners of the world. For any lover however, the chance to experience a Japanese garden in Japan can be a once in a lifetime opportunity.  Below are gardens that are popular tourist attractions in Japan.


Although its formal name is Rokuon-ji, it is also known as the temple of the golden pavilion, this is a Buddhist temple found in Kyoto, Japan. The temple is a popular tourist attraction and has been declared a World Heritage site.

Consisting of 3 floors, the temple is an example of the extravagantly beautiful style of design that was popular during the era it was constructed. One of its most famous features is the fact that the upper 2 floors are completely covered in gold leaves. The reflection of these gold leaves in the pond is also an exquisite site to behold.

Dating back to 1397, the temple has been destroyed by fire numerous times with the most recent being in 1950. Reconstruction was carried out in 1955 keeping largely to the original.

The garden in the temple is designed in a Japanese promenade style and consists of element commonly found in all Japanese including a pond which houses 10 small islands. There is also a tea house and visitors have the opportunity to enjoy match tea which is sold along with other souvenirs outside the garden exit.

Ryoan-ji The temple of the Dragon

This a zen garden located in Kyoto Japan. Although there is some contention as to when the garden was built and by whom, it is estimated to have been developed some time in the later part of the 15 the century.  It is an example of a dry landscape rock garden which was a common style used to design gardens that were mostly constructed for the aim of aiding in meditation.

The garden is meant to be observed by sitting on the veranda of the monastery. Smaller in proportion when compared to other Japanese gardens, it is shaped like a rectangle and contains 15 stones of various sizes. The walls surrounding it are made of clay.

Ginkaku-ji Temple

Although also commonly known as the Silver pavilion, silver was not used in the construction of the temple. The original designs of the temple had called for the use of silver foil as a finish but this was never done. It is still a remarkable price of design. The main temple is 2 floors high. Construction started in 1482.

The beautiful zen garden in the temple which was designed by one of Japan’s most respected landscape artists consists of a sand garden that is raked to represent mount Fuji. It also consists beautiful woodland and hills covered in moss.

Visitors can visit the gardens daily.

Ritsurin Garden (Takamatsu)

This strolling garden is located in Takamatsu city. Although originally constructed as a private retreat, it has been opened to the public since 1875.  Within the surroundings are bridges, hills, foot paths, lakes, ponds, streams and trees. The ponds and steams most of which are filled with Koi fish are favourites among tourists.


This garden was built in the 1700 under the rule of the fourth Lord of the Okayama castle. It is located near the Okayama castle in the Okayama prefecture. The garden which consists of tea houses, streams and ponds have been open to the public since 1884. It is designed in such a way that at every turn of the paths that cover the lengths of the garden, visitors are met with a different view.

Like many other gardens in Japan, it has not escaped damage by floods and bombings during World war 11, it has been restored to original designs based on paintings and other records.