Gardens are a real gift to those who build them and take care of them, but also to those who just pass by them and look at the garden from the outside. We can all take pleasure in viewing the beautiful trees and flowers, but a garden can mean much more than that; in Japan, the significance of gardens goes beyond being simply beautiful: their goal is to open the viewer’s mind to the harmony of natural surroundings and to find that harmony in our souls, too. Thus the arranging of a true Japanese garden is always anticipated by careful design procedure to achieve the best results: delight to the eyes and food for thought.

What makes a Japanese garden?

Just like many other aspects of Japanese culture, garden arrangement as a form of art originates from China, but over time a distinct and unique Japanese style emerged, which today is known worldwide. The idea of the garden is to reflect upon the beauty of Shinto spirits (the kamis) which inhabit lakes, mountains and trees. The notion of spiritualism tied to nature became more emphatic as Buddhism began to spread in Japan, contributing to the evolution of the Japanese garden.

There are two types of japanese gardens: the tsuki-yama, meaning mountain garden, where we can find cascades and lakes, and the hira-niwa, the courtyard garden, where water is presented in the form of fountains and little streams. Water is the most important element of the Japanese garden, with the exception of the karesansui or dry garden, but even here, water is represented by sand raked in the shape of waves.

They use different styles when building a japanese garden: „true” (shin) Japanese gardens are detailed arrangements and meet strict criteria; „free” (gyo) gardens are less strictly formed and „rough” (so) gardens are the  most loosely organized ones. The typical elements used in Japanese gardens are ponds with small islands built on them, tea houses and pavillions and also lanterns made of stone.

The aim of these gardens is to give us a pause for thought; the designers always take into consideration the natural state of the venue and rather than changing the surroundings, they provide a „frame” for the viewer. The trees and bushes are also planted in their innate forms, always paying attention to the harmony of different shapes, sizes and colours. If we ever  discover a winding path in a Japanese garden, it is best to tread caferully: there might be roots sticking out, or it might be rocky. But this is s never the designer’s fault; quite the contrary, uneven surfaces are there for a reason: to make us stop and look up to see…who knows? Something wonderful! These moments of revelation could bring us closer to Satori: enlightenment…and that is the most beautiful gift a garden could give.

If you like Japanese gardens (I certainly do), you don’t have to travel to Japan to see one: there is a beautiful example in the Budapest Zoo, and there is also one on the Margaret Island. Still, if you feel more like having a wonderful Japanese meal  than waiting for Satori, Sushi Sei is the place for you: superb food is made and served with the highest of expertise and in beautiful surroundings. Sushi Sei is also the best choice for family gatherings, incentives or business meetings as well! If you feel like having your meal at home, order online: we deliver!