A Path Around a Pond from the Famous "Planting Bear" Kumakichi Kato
Close proximity to the Higashiyama mountains allows the gardens at Okazaki Tsuruya to incorporate some incredible natural beauty. They were created by the master gardener of the Meiji (1868 - 1912) and subsequent early Showa periods, Kumakichi Kato, who also created the gardens at Kennin-ji Temple and was known as the "planting bear" due to the "kuma" ("bear") in his name.
Against the distant background of the mountain range, canals from Lake Biwa are used to create a traditional style of garden featuring a path around a pond, with a stone bridge in the center surrounded by skillfully placed leveled stones. The sounds of both the water and the leaves are so comfortable and soothing, such tranquility as to transport you from the city and into the mountains.
The glory of flower-blooming spring, the cool of lush summer, the vivid crimson colors of fall and the stern snow-covered winter. The four seasons of Kyoto each bring their own unique take to the gardens, and you will have no regrets regardless of which you experience.