Nihon Teien: Experience Traditional Japanese Gardens With Japan’s Oldest Gardening Family

 Ryoanji, considered one of Japan's most famous rock gardens.

Ryoanji, considered one of Japan's most famous rock gardens.

Complex and unpretentious, the traditional Japanese garden is the perfect environment for those seeking a moment of peace, clarity and contemplation.

Revered as a place of recreation, aesthetic pleasure and spiritual fulfillment, the iconic Japanese garden (日本庭園, nihon teien) remains one of the cornerstones of traditional Japanese culture. The art of the Japanese garden is about crafting and molding landscapes based on native rituals and beliefs into an idealized form of natural beauty. 

In Japanese culture, garden-making is a high art, equivalent to the elite traditions of calligraphy and tea ceremony.

Early Japanese gardens were built primarily in temples as a form of meditation for spiritual purposes. Today they are often featured as the centerpiece of large, secret compounds and even in the private homes of the political and professional elite. Even today, Japanese gardens encompass a form of private relaxation and recreation, reserved only for the highest echelons of society.

Common themes in many forms of Japanese aesthetics, elements such as space, miniaturization, asymmetry and wabi-sabi play an important role in nihon teien artistry. The expression wabi-sabi (侘びさび) refers to the aesthetic essence of “beauty through a sense of austerity and antiquity”. Wabi (侘び) is the ability to see beauty in all of the world’s imperfections. The term sabi (さび) inspires images of solitude, melancholia, minimalism and austerity, all important sources of natural beauty in Japanese philosophy. When put together, wabi-sabi represents the beauty of both the enduring and the ephemeral.

Both complex and unpretentious, a traditional Japanese gardens is the perfect environment for those seeking a moment of peace, clarity and contemplation.


About the experience

We have prepared for you a private excursion to some of Japan’s most exclusive natural spaces. In cooperation with several members of the family that takes care of the most important gardens in Kyoto, including the Imperial Park Ryoanji, the Hyatt Regency and the Kyoto Hotel, we will take our guests on a private garden tour, visiting some of Japan’s most exclusive gardens and taking a journey through Japanese history, philosophy and seasonal aesthetics of the quintessential Japanese garden.

Experience includes:Private guiding, translator, insurance
Duration:4 hours
Location:Kyoto City
Price:Please contact us to inquire about pricing


...are interested in local horticulture, gardening and landscape architecture.

...wish to deepen their understanding of ancient Japanese history and culture.

...love nature and peaceful outdoor spaces.


Optional add-ons to make your plan more memorable...

We can provide TRANSPORTATION, PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY, and KIMONO for your experience.

Please inquire.