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:

Outdoors Digest  Sherman Denison Herald Democrat
A bite of the outdoors  The New Indian Express

River Rafting in Colorado

The sport of river rafting was practically invented in Colorado.... Read More

San Francisco Beaches

When you are planning a vacation to Maui or Rio... Read More

Penguin Parade

Phillip Island is a small island and nature reserve off... Read More

Hiking from Your Own Home

Picture this. You are stuck at home knee deep in... Read More

Canoe Trip with Nature

A canoe trip is a great way to appreciate Nature!A... Read More

The Classy Way to Do WA

Western Australia ? South-West Coast driving holiday. Great Australian Road... Read More

Shark Attacks! How Common are They? Where do They Occur?

Last week in Australia, one man's day at beach could... Read More

Its an Alien World in Every River

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

Take a Hiking Pole on Your Next Hike

It is the downhill ski racing competition of the winter... Read More

Visiting Croatia

Croatia has quickly become Europe's hottest destination, and for good... Read More

Ultralight Backpacking Versus Traditional Backpacking

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

Going it Alone: The Waterfall at Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska

I stood at the observation point on the balcony at... Read More

How To Buy a Used RV - Part 1

If you are on a tight budget and can't afford... Read More

Your Horses Back May Not Be the Same Next Month

A saddle is a static object, but your horse is... Read More

Safety Tips While Walking in the Spanish Countryside

Spring:Essential items when preparing for a walk-Compass-First aid kit -... Read More

Whitewater Rafting Trip

For the dedicated water sport enthusiast there can be no... Read More

Find a Camping Gear Outlet Near You

When you search online for a camping gear outlet you... Read More

Wildebeest Migration - How To Get The Best Seats In The House

To get the most out of a wildebeest migration safari... Read More

River Cruise in Bangkok ? Sightseeing on the Chao Phraya

A river cruise in Bangkok gives an insight to the... Read More

Hiking Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier National Park is the most popular park in... Read More

River Rafting in Washington State

The great state of Washington offers some of the best... Read More

Cochin - Cocktails of Cultures

Eulogised as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, Cochin, Kerala's... Read More

Inflatable Pontoon Boats

Bryce Whitmore designed the modern whitewater inflatable pontoon boat, and... Read More

Spanish Courses in Spain

Spain: sun, sea, sand and Spanish... discover us! Spain, a... Read More

Spain´s Beaches - You´re Spoilt For Choice

Spain offers the visitor over 4,000 kms of coastline where... Read More