Japanese Garden of Monaco

Have you ever seen an authentic Japanese garden? Well, I had the chance of seeing the one in Monaco and was really impressed too. Wanna taste a little Japanese culture? Stepping on this ground is escaping from the real world into a fantasy land. You suddenly find yourself in a typical Japanese natural setting like the ones you see in marvelous paintings. The only thing that's missing is the fog. Instead, the Mediterranean sun reveals all minute details in a warm light.

With Japanese gardens, what you see is not all; the surface of things is the mere reflection of the psyche of an ancient culture. One really needs to be literally "cultured" in this direction to best appreciate the value of this art. (which I myself was not at the time of my visit! And it was a pity as I did not know what to look for and what to analyze better!) One can speak of a philosophy of gardening coming from the ancient Japan. Japanese gardening is an art fetched beyond the arrangements of vegetation, water and stone but is full of symbols:

* Koko - the veneration of timeless age;

* Shizen - the avoidance of the artificial;

* Yugen, or darkness - imply the mysterious or subtle;

* Miegakure - the avoidance of full expression

The perception of nature is different in the Japanese culture from that of the European one. Instead of viewing nature only as something to be subjugated and transformed according to man-made ideal of beauty, Japanese developed a close connection to nature, considering it sacred, an ally in putting food on the table and an ideal of beauty in itself. That is why the Japanese gardens are the synthesis of nature in miniature instead of correction of nature as with European gardens.

Actually, the design of Japanese gardens come from the Chinese model. The history goes back in time, around year 100BC when the emperor of China, Wu Di of the Han Dynasty established a garden that contained three small islands, mimicking the Isles of the Immortals, who were the main Taoist deities. An envoy of Japan saw it and took the idea to Japan, improving the existing Japanese practices.

The Japanese Garden of Monaco was designed at the request of Prince Rainier who thus fulfilled a desire Princess Grace had expressed during her life-time. The garden was designed by the landscape-architect Yasuo Beppu, has 7,000 square meters, its construction took 3 years and it was inaugurated in 1994.

Specific elements

* The wall (Heï) with an intermediary bamboo fencing (Takégaki) that stands for fragility and simplicity.

* The main gate (Shô-mon)

* The stone lanterns (Tôrô) - each having special different characteristics;

* The lake (Iké) with large swishing gold fish.

* The stone fountain (Fusen-Ishi)

* The covered terrace (Kyukeïjo)

* The islands (Shima) - represent two long-living animals - the tortoise and the crane, symbols of complementarity expressed

* The Tea house (Chatshitsu)- named the Garden of Grace (Ga-én)

* The dry landscape (Karésansui) - quintessence of Cosmos

* The Belvedere (Azumaya) - a house on a hill allowing view in all four corners

* The waterfall (Taki) - symbolizes the strength of Man and Nature, contrasting to the horizontality of the lake.

* The arched red bridge (Taïkobashi) - is red, the color of happiness and is narrow so as to make access to the divine island more difficult.

There are olive trees, cherry trees, conifers, azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias, a varied, rich vegetation of Mediterranean, South American, Australia, African and Asian origin, pruned according to the Japanese tradition.

Walking in the crowded Monaco, with all its stone, steel and glass, you can find in the Japanese Garden a peaceful, green oasis where even the great number of tourists pass unnoticed, wandering on the winding paths, through the thicket of the garden.

Laura Ciocan writes for http://www.ilovemontecarlo.com/ where you can find all you want to know about living in Monaco Please feel free to use this article in your Newsletter or on your website. If you use this article, please include the resource box and send a brief message to let me know where it appeared: mailto:[email protected]

In The News:

See you outdoors  Times of India
This man is hiking every East Bay trail  San Francisco Chronicle
Outdoors Show Hour 3  SportsRadio 610
These outdoor pursuits aren’t getting any easier  New Philadelphia Times Reporter

Three Classic Hikes Abroad

Paul Scott Mower once said, "There is nothing like walking... Read More

GOA ? A Carnival of Beaches

The state of Goa on the West coast of India,... Read More

Backyard Camping Trip

Are your kids begging you to take them camping, but... Read More

7 Need to Know Campsite Cooking Strategies

Are you sick and tired of not knowing what to... Read More

What Do Cowboys-n-Campfires Have in Common?

I bet you're wondering where the heck this articles going.... Read More

Adventure Travel on Horseback

When you think of "adventure travel," what crosses your mind?... Read More

The Great Outdoors is to be Explored and Loved in all its fullness

The thing with enjoying the great outdoors is seeing aspects... Read More

Bicycling Down The River

My river-rafting adventure started on a bicycle. The small daypack... Read More

Backpacking Trips - Ten Essential Items

I've had backpacking trips that included rain, snow, lightning, rockslides,... Read More

Topographic Maps 101

The intricate details on a topographic map can be befuddling,... Read More

A Holiday in Rajasthan

Romancing History ? A Holiday in RajasthanRajasthan, the name evokes... Read More

Its an Alien World in Every River

When you look at a river, what do you see?... Read More

Trekking in Jordan

1st day : Airport / Amman, O/N Our representative will... Read More

Stay Warm - A Backpacking Skill

Stay warm or die. That's what it comes down to... Read More

A Review of Inflatable Boat Manufacturers

There are many manufacturers of inflatable boats on the market... Read More

Ultralight Backpacking Versus Traditional Backpacking

Contrary to what many think, ultralight backpacking is not just... Read More

Welcome to Bragg Creek

Welcome to Bragg Creek! Bragg Creek is located in the... Read More

Chimborazo: Learning Spanish At 20,600 Feet

Climbing the glaciers to the summit of Mount Chimborazo in... Read More

Discover Knotts Berry Farm

Of course you know about Southern California's premier attraction, Disneyland... Read More

Planning Your Own Gorilla Safari Will Save You Money - Heres How

Going on a gorilla safari must rank as one of... Read More

Creative Camp Cooking

For most people, outdoor cooking is synonymous with barbeque, but... Read More

Mount Kenya ? Up High at God?s Mountain

Mount Kenya is Africa's second highest mountain, after Kilimanjaro. It... Read More

Finding Adventure In Little Things

We recently planted our saskatoon berry trees. I am sure... Read More

Calculate Food Quantities for Camping and Outdoor Recreation

As the warmer weather approaches, we look forward to another... Read More

Greek Food

A meal in Greece is highlighted with a selection of... Read More