Travel: Finding serenity in a historic Tokyo house and garden

(From Japan Today)

Coming from the high-rise neon madness of Tokyo’s Shibuya neighborhood just one train stop away, simply walking through the neighborhood of Daikanyama may feel almost like being in a Zen temple. But stroll past the upscale boutiques and restaurants on narrow hilly streets and you’ll find true serenity just a few blocks from the station at the Kyu Asakura House and its garden.

A view of the grounds through the windows of the Kyu Asakura House in Tokyo

A view of the grounds through the windows of the Kyu Asakura House in Tokyo

The garden looks and feels different from the classic Japanese-style garden laid out around a pond that you’re likely to find elsewhere, for a couple of reasons. It’s built on the side of a rather steep natural hill, and walking up and down on the rustic paving stones requires enough attention sometimes to keep other thoughts out of your mind. The winding paths also give different views of the same spots, a way of making the rather small garden seem bigger than it is.

The look of the garden is also different for reasons that become clear when you read some of the informational material (available in both Japanese and English) posted inside the house. Read More



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