loader image

Art of Gardening:

Scenery of South Island / Ingetsu-chi Pond

Welcome to the main view point of Shoseien Garden, South Island/Ingetsu-chi Pond Area!

Ingetsu-chi Pond

A pond with the moon etched upon its surface. The large pond at the garden’s center is Shōsei-en’s principal scenery. It is a broad landscape fit for entertaining important guests with.

Using the sound of the bell at Garyū-dō Bell Tower as a signal, guests once enjoyed boat rides from Sōchin-kyo Teahouse to Shukuen-tei Teahouse before reveling in a tea reception.

Creating Scenery Brimming with Rusticity

On the South Island, wildflowers and undergrowth sway throughout the year. In Japanese gardens, ordinarily all of these ought to be removed as weeds, but here we have deliberately kept some of them.

  By working on key areas, making sure that the dynamic stone arrangements stand out as highlights, and leaving Japanese wax trees, with their beautiful autumn colors, and Chinese silver grass in appropriate places, we are using ingenuity so that interesting scenery can be seen at all times.

The South Island Soundscape

Grass is a habitat for bugs. At the end of summer, our gardeners begin cutting the grass at the garden’s outer perimeter. By gradually closing in on them, we push these bugs toward the South Island. In autumn, the lawn area resonates with a chorus of bugs singing from the South Island. 

The South Island Landscape

The South Island’s characteristic features are its undulating topography and beautiful ridges. But a camphor tree grown large as a screen for surrounding buildings was concealing those ridges and its roots were growing into the stone arrangement, which was impacting the scenic stones. As a result of careful discussions, the camphor tree was cut down in 2016.

As a result, the South Island’s beautiful ridges and majestic stone arrangement were restored. We are always thinking of suggestions to give the garden’s scenery, which includes the landscape of surrounding houses, an attractiveness that features Shōsei-en’s unique quality.

Life that Resonates Together and an Island of Biodiversity

The streets around Kyoto Station are a concrete jungle with little green space. In that context, Shōsei-en is a lonely little land island. This garden is a precious refugia both for people and for other living things.

Inside the garden too, our gardeners pay special attention to the South Island, which viewers are separated from by a pond. We hope to nurture an environment where a diverse range of living things that would usually be expelled from a Japanese garden can live. As Higashi Hongan-ji Temple’s exclusive gardening company, we continue our garden management under the teaching of the Shinshu Otani branch of Buddhism,“Protect all living things in a place where they resound together.”

Please click here and fill out the short survey (takes less than 2 min) if you're happy to help us.