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JP 01: Japanese Gardens-Nihon-teien日本庭園

Zen structure

Japanese gardens are a treat for the eyes: if you’re in Japan or on the way, be sure to visit. We talk about our experiences in gardens in Japan and more…

Karamoon recommends Koishikawa Korakuen the Japanese garden in central Tokyo, next to Tokyo Dome. It’s a walled garden from the Edo era, and when you’re there, you don’t feel like you’re in Tokyo.

    Quick Notes from the Show

  • A Japanese garden contains stylized scenes from nature, with various viewing points
  • Some Japanese gardens are best viewed from within the temple or teahouse.
  • Japanese green tea & English tea.
  • Macha in tea houses, ritual and ceremony.
  • Mugicha, the simple summer tea – not for tea ceremonies.
  • Terri had gardens in her mind and they’re gone.
  • Meiji-jingumae – the Central Park of Tokyo.
  • No picnicking, though.
  • Pruned trees propped up with bits of wood.
  • Internal visual calculation.
  • Watch out for those vacation tour photos: ugly happens when the camera pulls back.
  • New Yorkers & Londoners don’t notice homeless people.
  • Homeless people are a bigger problem in New York
  • Alex Kerr’s book.
  • It’s my adopted country so I don’t feel as if I can complain too much.
  • Darn aerial wires spoil views everywhere.
  • In England, they’re buried underground for the most part.
  • How come the wires are buried in Ginza – aren’t the earthquakes going to reach Ginza?
  • The reason is earthquakes: but isn’t it better for the wires to be underground?
  • Going to a Japanese garden in Kyoto: first thing we notice is the ‘sponsored by Hitachi’ sign….
  • Stroll around, take in the imagery – best if it’s not crowded.
  • Kyoto: Ginkaku-ji (The Temple of the Silver Pavilion) &
  • Kyoto: Kinkaku-ji (The Temple of the Golden Pavilion)
  • The carp are amazing, massive.
  • Noise pollution is a huge problem.
  • High-pitched female voice screeching: folks don’t notice.
  • Is that happening in Central Park? Hard to believe…
  • Then again there is the stock exchange…
  • The moon-viewing room: beautiful idea
  • The raked sand represents the waves of the sea
  • Not even one leaf out of place – it’s meant to be perfect, a caricature of nature.


About those wires: Alex Kerr’s ‘Dogs and Demons: the Fall of Modern Japan’ (thanks for using our affiliate link)
Dogs and Demons: The Fall of Modern Japan

Terri records the show on her iPhone3G, with Griffin Technology’s iTalk Premium
Tom Toeda of fti studio mixes the show.
Ginkaku-ji garden image credit: Everjean
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Next week’s show theme? Gaijin.

This week’s show:


4 Responses to “JP 01: Japanese Gardens-Nihon-teien日本庭園”

  1. takaaki says:

    Domo. Great to know you guys started podcasting. Pretty good production and show notes.

    It’d be cool if you mention the duration of the episode.


  2. Terri says:

    aarrgghh, I knew I had forgotten something but couldn’t figure out what!(lol).

    of course you’re right – will do.

    thank you very much for commenting – it means a lot.


  3. loco says:

    Interesting podcast! Well done, terri.
    Looking forward to the next one on gaijin (-:

  4. Terri says:

    thanks loco – very much appreciate the comment. don’t be a stranger;-)