Home / Art

Serene Photos Highlight the Tranquil Beauty of 100 Japanese Gardens

Japanese Garden

Reflections at Isuien, Nara

Japan is known for its breathtaking gardens that are the epitome of natural serenity. As an American, Marc Peter Keane spent the better part of 20 years in Kyoto learning and practicing landscape design. This was no small feat; he was the first foreigner to obtain a working visa as a landscape architect. Since returning to the U.S., Keane has settled in upstate New York where he uses his vast knowledge and experience to build Japanese gardens for clients who wish to imbue their space with beauty and tranquility.

Keane is an expert in Japanese garden design. In addition to construction, he's also a researcher and educator on the subject. This has culminated into a book called Japanese Garden Notes: A Visual Guide to Elements and Design. In it, Keane walks us through 100 of these spaces, including over 400 photographs with brief observations about the featured gardens. Their individual elements are highlighted and discussed, such as how the placement of stepping stones and walls help shape our experience as we explore these spaces.

As evidenced through this selection of photographs, the garden design ideas vary in their composition and execution. Some include luscious and open green spaces, while others are more contained and have meticulous arrangements. Each will make you want to go and connect with nature.

Japanese Garden Notes: A Visual Guide to Elements and Design is now available through Amazon.

Landscape architect Marc Peter Keane highlights the beauty of Japanese garden design.

Japanese Garden

Pond edge at Rengeji, Kyoto

Garden Design Ideas

Gate at Yoshikien, Nara

Japanese Garden

Stepping stones at Ryosokuin, Kyoto

Dripline at Fundain

Japanese Garden

Tsubo garden at Yoshidake

Through his book called Japanese Garden Notes, he tours a variety of spaces and highlights the elements that give them such serenity.

Japanese Garden

Stepping stones at Yoshikien, Nara

Garden Design Ideas

Balance at Ryonaji, Kyoto

Garden Design Ideas

Moss at Gioji, Kyoto

Japanese Garden

Reflections at Suizenji

Garden Design Ideas

Frame at Moritei, Shimonoseki

Marc Peter Keane: Website

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Marc Peter Keane.

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content