Formerly, in Japan en
engawa were used interchangeably but now
en is considered to be an exposed
veranda open to the air and the elements and that is
what we have in Tsubo-en. Actually it is a
nure-en, although some of the eaves have a
long overhang, our nure-en gets wet for sure.
We have chosen for the most simple construction with the idea in mind that if we want to spend the money and the effort we can if so required always improve it at a later stage. More about this in Constructing the Veranda, duckboards and gutter.
On the ground-plan of the garden the veranda is colored brown. It is the L-shape in the main garden and at a lower level it continues to the left behind the back of the house. The main veranda is also our main terrace, being one of four terraces it is the largest one and the only one made of wood.
This was one of our strategic requirements: "We wanted to have sufficient terrace-space in the form of a veranda. Sufficient being large enough to host a small family party."
We have not treated our wood with any oil to keep its natural colour because we wanted the coloration that it shows when exposed to the elements.
This gives it a silver-greyish colour that you now see on our photo's (see Brushing the veranda and duckboards hardwood decking).
Note that the photo´s show a less mature vegetation. These date from July 2005 but are still up to date as far as the veranda is concerned.
This is the main veranda that has a size of 4
by 6 meter (13 by 20 feet). It is made of
profiled Bangkirai wood (Shorea).
To the left of the table you see the sliding-doors that give entrance to the living room, our " shoin". Like in a genuine shoinzukuri style building, the sliding-doors are akarishouji like. The mediaeval forerunner of the shoin is the meeting hall ( kaisho).
On the right side is a large window in the corridor that leads to the master bedroom ( chuumon) with its own sliding-doors.
From the water front the veranda looks like
this. On the right we have the long narrow
veranda (1,2 by 9 m, 4 by 29.5 feet) that
connects the main terace to the water front
veranda on the next photo.
The water front veranda is actually a
ochi-en as it lies a step lower then
the main veranda. It leads to the "herb garden
Here you see that it also connects to the "waterside terrace" (bottom-right) and to the path (bottom-left) that leads to the "hidden terrace".
Both are discussed in Terraces).
This is the inner corner of the main terrace
with a beautifull fern.
Details that we used for the construction of the stone-lined gutter, mikawamizu, mostly came from the book by Bring and Wayembergh .
Tradditionally buildings did not have
roof-mounted rain gutters but used instead
gravel troughs on the ground under the eaves to
collect and control rainwater runoff.
Here the gravel gutter feeds directly to the water side canal on one end and to the ginshanada at the other end.
The "moss" replacement is Cotula (or Leptinella) minor.
Looking away from the house and main terrace,
this shows how the gutter connects to the
The outer rim is made of square granite bollards.
For an impression of the final effect of the veranda and its integration role see House and garden integration.
An interesting technique using the veranda, duckboards and walkboards as a security device can be seen in some castles and temples. Squeaking floors were used as a security device, assuring that none could sneak through the corridors undetected. These floor where called "Nightingale floors".