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Stone in Japan

by Bruce Tate (in the weeds)

Stones in a tiny local park. These were typical.
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The Japanese use stone everywhere. It's part of the natural landscape. Nowhere is it more apparent than in Matsue.

As we were walking down the road on the way to one of the two lakes bordering Matsue, we saw two different rock gardens. One had small clusters of rock in a grass field. The placement looked at once natural and intentional. It was just a sign of what was to come.


In the Adachi museum and gardens, the larger stones were a uniform dark grey, almost black. Offseting that dark color were white immaculately raked pebbles, a lovely counterpoint.

Sdc10672.detail The grass and stone also make nice points of contrast. You can see how the darker stones provided some structure and direction, but not too much.


The water cascading through the stone is an opportunity to thorw in a little entropy, but always with a light touch and nice balance. Though chaos reigns in the falls, order is never too far away.

Sdc10682.detailThe bridges illustrate both ends of the 'control' spectrum. Within the same line of site, you can see both stacked unshaped stone and precise bridges.

The stone captures the essence of the gardens. I enjoyed my tour tremendously.


rock gardens


Oh, wow, I agree with FigTree...Photo #2 leaves me breathless!
Daylilyjoy commented on 09/30/09
Awesome, the simplicity is flawless. The Japanese are pros at creating gardens of the imagination.
cajunbarry commented on 09/22/09
Picture #2 is my absolute favorite- it almost looks like a white pond. SO beautiful- wish I could go....
FigTree commented on 09/20/09
Stones in the garden rock :-)
chief cultivator commented on 09/20/09