Cutting Back: My Apprenticeship in the Gardens of Kyoto
“An unusual and entertaining memoir.” —New York Times Book Review At thirty-five, Leslie Buck made an impulsive decision to put her personal life on hold to pursue her passion. Leaving behind a full life of friends, love, and professional security, she became the first American woman to learn pruning from one of the most storied landscaping companies in Kyoto. Cutting Back recounts Buck’s bold journey and the revelations she has along the way. During her apprenticeship in Japan, she learns that the best Kyoto gardens look so natural they appear untouched by human hands, even though her crew spends hours meticulously cleaning every pebble in the streams. She is taught how to bring nature’s essence into a garden scene, how to design with native plants, and how to subtly direct a visitor through a landscape. But she learns the most important lessons from her fellow gardeners: how to balance strength with grace, seriousness with humor, and technique with heart.
Designed for the layman as well as the professional, this concise yet comprehensive guide provides both practical information and theoretical insights into the design of the Japanese garden. Kyoto, the capital of Japan for over one thousand years, possesses a richness of garden art without equal as a living chronicle of Japanese cultural history and environmental design. Following the introductory essays are individual entries for more than 50 temple and palace gardens. The text is augmented by an excellent selection of photographs, historical prints, maps, and color plates.
Kyoto Gardens: Masterworks of the Japanese Gardener's Art
"Bring the art and beauty of Japan to your garden with inspiration from Kyoto Gardens." —HGTV Gardens Featuring beautiful Japanese garden photography and insightful writing, Kyoto Gardens is a labor of love from master photographer Ben Simmons and Kyoto-based writer Judith Clancy. In their rocks and plants, empty spaces and intimate details—Kyoto's gardens manifest a unique ability to provoke thought and delight in equal measure. These varied landscapes meld the sensuality of nature with the disciplines of cosmology, poetry and meditation. Japanese aristocrats created these gardens to display not just wealth and power, but cultural sensitivity and an appreciation for transcendent beauty. A class of professional gardeners eventually emerged, transforming Japanese landscape design into a formalized art. Today, Kyoto's gardens display an enormous range of forms—from rock gardens display of extreme minimalism and subtle hues, to stroll gardens of luscious proportions and vibrant colors.In Kyoto Gardens Simmons' photographs present a fresh and contemporary look at Kyoto's most important gardens. Their beauty is enhanced and humanized by gardeners tending the grounds using the tools of their art. Clancy's graceful text provides historical, aesthetic and cultural context to the Ja...
Zen Gardens and Temples of Kyoto: A Guide to Kyoto's Most Important Sites
This Japan travel guide presents a journey into the true heart of the Kyoto experience—one which brings you deep into the world of Kyoto's ancient Zen Buddhist culture. This is the first comprehensive guide to Kyoto's most important Zen garden and temple sites. Kyoto's Zen heritage represents one of mankind's greatest achievements—recognized by the large number which have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Millions of visitors travel to Kyoto yearly in search of their secrets, and here for the first time is a comprehensive overview of every major site. Over 50 Japanese temples and gardens—including all World Heritage Sites—are captured in sensitive photos by acclaimed Kyoto-based photographer John Einarsen. A detailed introduction to each temple by local expert John Dougill includes information about special opportunities for visitors to the temples—such as early morning meditation sessions, temple food offerings and special green tea sets provided to enhance the contemplative experience—along with other "insider" information that no other guide provides. The foreword by Takafumi Kawakami, the deputy head priest of the respected Shunkoin Temple in Kyoto, serves to place the book in the context of eastern and western Buddhist thought and practice. His widely vi...
Houses and Gardens of Kyoto: Revised with a new foreword by Matthew Stavros
Houses and Gardens of Kyoto presents over 500 photos of the most excellent examples of traditional Japanese architecture from every significant historical period in this new edition of a favorite classic. Kyoto, considered the quintessential birthplace of Japanese culture, has survived centuries of damage and the onslaught of modernization, yet remains the undisputed home of the country's architectural and cultural history. This vibrant collection of Japanese garden design and landscaping photographs introduces a wide variety of traditional houses, from aristocratic villas, temple residences, and merchant townhouses, to ryokan inns and private retreats—each uniquely equipped with a garden space. Houses And Gardens of Kyoto features residences—many of which have never before been photographed or shown in any other book—hand-picked by photographer Akihiko Seki. The accompanying text is informative and is sure to be a standard reference guide on the topic for years to come. Each entry in this Japanese gardening and landscape design book is a colorful example of the most exquisite classic Japanese houses and garden styles and will serve as a lasting inspiration to anyone who is captivated by Japanese architecture and design.
Kyoto Without Crowds: A Guide to the City's Most Peaceful Temples and Gardens
Western tourists rarely see more of Kyoto than a handful of famous sites – lovely but often crowded to bursting point. And far from peaceful. If you are willing to step just a short way off the beaten track, there is a different city to be explored. A few minutes from the tour buses you can find modest temple gates that open on to courtyards and gardens of mesmerizing beauty. Most tourists are quite unaware of them. This book is a practical guide to the best of these places. For those with limited time, the layout makes it easy to check which of them is nearby when you visit any of the city’s major tourist sites.
Kyoto City of Zen: Visiting the Heritage Sites of Japan's Ancient Capital
Whether you are interested in this unique city's history or are planning to travel to Kyoto, Kyoto City of Zen will serve as inspiration and provide invaluable insight into Kyoto's culture.This travel pictorial and Japan travel guide captures the sites and soul of Kyoto—Japan's historical and spiritual center. An elaborate kaleidoscope of craft, artistry and religion, Kyoto is one of the world's most popular travel destinations. Art and design form the weft and warp of this vibrant 1,200-year-old city, home to hundreds of gardens, palaces, villas and magnificent wooden temples—including seventeen UNESCO World Heritage sites.Like a Zen koan, Kyoto defies easy description. Its citizens may work at Nintendo designing video games, at a company designing precision medical instruments, or sitting cross-legged meticulously affixing micro-thin flakes of gold foil onto a painting. All of them share a living heritage grounded in centuries of traditional culture.In Kyoto City of Zen, local expert Judith Clancy presents the most important gardens, temples, shrines and palaces of this ancient capital city and enduring cultural center. In addition to unveiling the city's spiritual and historical riches, this travel book shares with readers the exquisite foods, artistic crafts, religious ce...
Kyoto, 29 Walks in Japan's Ancient Capital: The Definitive Guide to Kyoto's Temples, Shrines, Gardens and Palaces
The only Japan travel guide you'll need for getting around Kyoto! Everything you need is in this one convenient package—including extensive area maps!Kyoto, Japan's ancient capital and modern-day center of tourism and traditional culture, is one of the world's most beautiful and historic cities. Founded nearly 1,300 years ago and undamaged by the war, Kyoto today is the home of over 1,600 Buddhist temples, 400 Shinto shrines, countless national treasures and 17 World Heritage sites, including the famed Golden Pavilion, Nijo Castle and Kiyomizu Temple.To experience the essence of Kyoto, you must walk its avenues and streets, its alleys and byways. Only in this way can you appreciate the true spirit of the place—its quiet lanes and bustling main thoroughfares, and the juxtaposition of traditional and modern houses and shops, serene gardens and holy temples and shrines. This Kyoto travel guide presents 29 easy–to–follow walking tours through Kyoto's history, its many unique districts and scenic areas full of charm and character. You'll discover not only the most renowned sites, such as the Silver Pavilion, the rock garden at Ryoan–ji Temple and the garden of the Heian Shrine, but also little–known areas off the beaten track.Much more than a guidebook, this volume tells t...
One of the pleasures of visiting Kyoto is to wander around narrow streets lined with machiya, the traditional townhouses of the merchant class. Tucked away inside each of these unusually long, narrow dwellings is a hidden oasis: a small garden known as the tsuboniwa. Following on from Landscapes for Small Spaces and The Hidden Gardens of Kyoto, the third book by garden enthusiast and photographer Katsuhiko Mizuno focuses on these miniature courtyard gardens of the machiya. A wide variety of gardens are beautifully photographed and presented: from those in shops, inns, restaurants, and tearooms, to gardens in many private homes. A total of 150 color images from fifty-two houses showcase the flawless Kyoto aesthetic and use of limited space. Surrounding architectural features, such as shoji sliding doors, reed blinds, beams, railings, and walkways are also featured.Each photograph is accompanied by analytical and insightful comments from the author, making this a useful reference book for all garden lovers, as well as a visual feast for anyone with an interest in traditional Japanese design.
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