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Harmony in Shimane, Japan

by Bruce Tate (in the weeds)

Shaped trees and stone
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The garden surrounding the Adachi Museum of Art was ranked the best in Japan by America's Journal of Japanese Gardening for six years running. Everything here is intentional. The shape of the trees, the rocks, the water, the paths that guide you.

The most spectacular garden I have ever visited is in one of the least populated areas of Japan, the Shimane prefecture, a short drive from Matsue. Surrounding the Adachi Museum of Art, the garden is appreciated around the world for the harmony of every aspect of the design.


Every tree is shaped to be the perfect form. Bamboo tubes deliver water to exactly where it is needed. Marvelous use of contrast across white rock, green fields and black rocks feel surreal, almost cartoon-like charcter to the gardens.Smooth sweeping curves with contrasting precisely carved rock bridges add surprise, but always in harmony.


In later articles, I will show water, stone, paths, trees, and shape.


japan, shimane, adachi


This garden looks really nice, like a peace of heaven. It is a good thing it is settled in a low populated area too. As much as tourism benefits an area it can also cause damage to it. It is funny how places known for their peace and tranquillity have now become overcrowded with tourists. Last year I went to Meteora in Greece for the first time. While it was a unique sight to see, it was also full of numerous tourists and and buses. I'm sure the local monks rarely get their quiet time any more. I would love to visit this garden. You can tell it's artificial because it looks too well kept, but that is never a bad thing in my book.
polbishop commented on 04/11/16
The symmetry is amazing... all I can think of is how unattainable that kind of garden perfection is with 5 kids!! Oh well!
chief cultivator commented on 09/09/09