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Explore Japan

The Alluring Beauty of Japanese Gardens

Aired: December 24, 2021 (UTC)


Frenchman Emmanuel Marès meets experts at famous gardens in Kyoto, to explore the unique aesthetic of Japanese gardens. First, he visits Saiho-ji Temple, nicknamed "moss temple" because its garden features over 120 types of moss. He speaks with modern-day priests to learn more about its connection to Zen philosophy.

Next, Marès heads to Shoden-ji Temple, which takes up the “borrowed scenery” that incorporates a mountain as a spectacular backdrop for its garden. What is the fascination of the garden of the borrowed scenery that rock star David Bowie often visited and was deeply moved?

His third destination is Kennin-ji Temple, where the rooms overlooking the garden feature famous folding screens and fusuma paintings. In one of the rooms, the temple commissioned a new fusuma painting by an artist who incorporated dyeing techniques into her paintings, creating a masterpiece of modern art, collaborating with the garden scenery.


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