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Hakone Japanese Gardens

Hakone is a traditional Japanese garden south of San Jose. It has a pond, waterfalls, fat koi and all the other things you expect in a Japanese garden. And still I didn't come away from the experience feeling that I'd seen anything special. Maybe authentic Japanese gardens aren't all they're cracked up to be. Or it could be that this one just isn't all that good. Other Japanese gardens I've seen have certainly made much more of an impression on me.

Something that Japanese gardens have in common with Capability Brown's gardens is that they control the vistas that the audience sees. They direct the user's experience and emphasise the juicy bits, while skimming over the less interesting bits. Rather like web pages, come to think of it. :-)

At Hakone there was always something in the way, or a void was framed instead of something interesting. The designers failed to exercise their judgement to the degree that is necessary to create something splendid. Instead it's a kind of humdrum garden. If you've never seen a Japanese garden, by all means go but don't expect to be bowled over.

Anyway, there's only one photo that I think is worth sharing from Hakone. It's of one of the turtles sunning on a rock in the pond.
Turtle in the pond at Hakone
Wallpaper, feel free to use


I never seem to get to San Francisco. Not sure why. I still haven't been to the Conservatory of Flowers, even though I've been meaning to go since I arrived back in January. Somehow it seems very, very far away. Strange.