Monday, 5 September 2011

London: The Kyōto Garden at Holland Park

All photos: Itsumo Japan
The Kyōto Garden
Holland Park
Ilchester Place
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Located in the affluent borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Holland Park is a leafy, wooded park criss-crossed by meandering paths and dotted with busy play areas. Amongst the rose beds, grassy lawns and an ice cream stall however is a little corner of Japan. To climb the stone steps to Holland Park's Kyōto Garden is to enter the peace, calm and tranquility of a traditional Japanese garden. The precisely manicured lawns, the stepping-stones that cross the gentle
waterfall, the distinctive 'clack' of the bamboo shishi odoshi and the koi swimming in the lake all create a very serene Japanese air. Even on a busy Friday afternoon the garden felt quiet and calm as I spent a contemplative half an hour on one of the benches overlooking the water.

The Kyōto Garden was opened as part of the 1992 Japan Festival in London and was refurbished in 2001, on both occasions work was carried out by specialists from Kyōto. The project was a joint undertaking by both the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the Kyōto Chamber of Commerce.


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