The terraces, walls, stairs and fences in Tsubo-en

This chapter is really a placeholder as the terraces, walls and stairs are discussed in their relative context, that is the relevant garden compartment. In this chapter we give a brief overview and hyperlinks to the specific chapters.

In addition to the (main) Veranda in the main garden compartment, as the most important and most prominent terrace we have three additional terraces in the garden. All of these are located in The water front compartment.

  • The "Waterside terrace" offers an ideal place to sit out of the wind and read or watch the waterway fauna.
  • The "Hidden terrace" is located behind the O-karikomi.
    It was not as such included because we needed it but it merely was designed this way because the overall garden design resulted in this corner of the parcel to become a sort of "left over" in the water front/main garden border area.
    Nonetheless we have tried to integrate it in a natural way and we think this explains why the two stone seats are seldom used. Perhaps this will change when the trees on the right grow bigger to offer more shadow.
  • The "Herb-garden terrace" is very small and is the smallest terrace of the four we have. It is located on the junction with the left side garden compartment.
    The function is very much a utilitarian one. It offers the intersection of the small stairway to the water front bank (below), the path to the front of the house and to the duckboards that connects to the main garden.
Except for the Veranda all the terraces and the paths that lead to and connects them are paved with cut granite and some marble.

Our Yotsumigaki bamboo entrance fence

Bamboo fences or take gaki are important objects in many Japanese gardens.
In Tsubo-en we did not have fences, only two hedgerows. In March 2009 we created a small bamboo fence to replace the temporary (!) construct that closes off the main entrance path in the front garden compartment). In Construction of a bamboo fence (take gaki) you find all details of this little venture.

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This is the main entry path to the garden in front of the house. We would not normally want a wicket or kugurido (often abbreviated to kuguri), to close the traditional path that leads to the front-door (see: The front garden compartment).
From the street, there is no connection as such to this path. Hence it was never intended to be used anyhow, but rather for the aesthetic of it as it is part of the garden architecture.

Despite of the lack of a real connection with the street, people started to use this path anyhow.
Unfortunately, in particular the people that wanted to put something in our letterbox, do not realize that the step-stones are meant to step on and the gravel is not. We soon found out that the path would not last for long, when used by postmen and other messengers.
Therefore we decided to close this as an entrance. Most people use the driveway anyhow.
This photo shows the fence viewed from the front-door.

The fence that we made belongs to the so called yotsumi gaki, which is a generic name for a bamboo lattice fence.
Although mostly used as oogaki, long continuous fences, we use it like a fixed fence.

This is our yotsumi gaki viewed from the street. Note that the double longer canes are not at the exact same length but purposely look a bit sloppy. This is in support of wabi (in wabi sabi) experience.
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Fences examples

This section shows a selection of fine authentic examples that all originate from Japan. These examples show how design principles and rules are applied and interpreted and how and what materials are used in genuine Japanese gardens. These examples should be of help and inspiration during realization of your own Japanese garden.
Note: The examples will only display correctly after the page has fully loaded !
Part of these photos is from our own trips others have been collected from different sources, including but not limited to the Internet. New examples will be frequently added.
  A beatiful bamboo fence and "modern" lantern (right) at the entrance in a small private garden in Kyoto.   Hakusasonso villa, Kyoto.   Katurarikyuu villa, Kyoto.   Katyuuan teien (garden), Kyoto.   Kouetujiteien (garden), Kyoto.   Riturin kikugetuiri (park), Kyoto.   Misugaki, bamboo fence, at Ryoanji, Kyoto.   Just a porche along a path in Kyoto.   The subtemple Hojo-in in Nanzen-ji in Kyoto   The temple Shisen-do in Kyoto



Enclosures examples

The typical dry rock garden perimeter consists of a combination of earthen walls and topiary hedges, enclosing a relatively empty courtyard covered in various kinds of moss and shirakawazuna (lit. white river sand, a specific type of course feltspar gravel found along the eastern foothills of Kyoto).

This section shows a selection of fine authentic examples that all originate from Japan. These examples show how design principles and rules are applied and interpreted and how and what materials are used in genuine Japanese gardens. These examples should be of help and inspiration during realization of your own Japanese garden.

Part of these photos is from our own trips others have been collected from different sources, including but not limited to the Internet. New examples will be frequently added.

Ryogen-in, Kyoto.   Koto-in Temple (sub-temple of Daitoku-ji Temple), Kyoto.   Myoshin-ji, "Temple of the Wondrous Mind", in Kyoto, 
is the headquarters of the largest of the fourteen schools of Japanese Rinzai Zen Buddhism. It was established in 1337.   Nijo castle, Kyoto.   Nijo castle, Kyoto.   A tsubo-niwa in Ryogen-in, Kyoto.   Myoshin-ji, "Temple of the Wondrous Mind", in Kyoto.   Taizo-in is a small Zen Buddhism temple located in northwestern Kyoto on the quiet and spacious grounds of Myoshin-ji. The area is surrounded by temples that belong to Kyoto's World Heritage site, including the Golden Pavilion, 
and is not far from the scenic mountains and rivers of Arashiyama.   Taizo-in, Kyoto.   Zuiho-in, Kyoto.   Zuiho-in, Kyoto.   Shoden-ji, has a garden featuring shakkei-technique or "borrowed scenery". 
The garden uses Mount Hiei as a backdrop to a contemplation garden.   A private house front garden close to Ueno-park in Tokyo.   Chiran, in the Fumoto district, there is a street of old samurai residences and gardens built in the 
later part of the Edo Period that are steeped in the atmosphere of the age. 
Seven of these gardens have been designated by the national government as places of scenic beauty.   Sokoku-ji in Kyoto   The subtemple Taizo-in in Myoshin-ji in Kyoto   The temple Myoman-ji in Kyoto   The temple Manshu-in in Kyoto   The subtemple Daishin-in in Myoshin-ji in Kyoto   Hokyo-ji in Kyoto   To-ji entrance in Kyoto   To-ji in Kyoto

Most relevant related construction chapters

These are the most relevant related construction and build chapters.

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