For the ninth consecutive year, the Japanese garden at the Adachi Museum of Art has been named as the best in the country -- which also puts it among the most impressive in the world.
|Adachi Museum of Art, Japan ©Adachi Museum of Art/© JNTO|
The bi-monthly US magazine Journal of Japanese Gardening identified the top 50 Japanese gardens in its January edition, but singled out the Adachi museum garden, in the town of Yonago in the southern prefecture of Tottori, as the finest in the country.
Founded in 1980 by the late Adachi Zenko -- who started out as a boy hauling charcoal in what is today nearby Yasugi City -- the garden has been meticulously constructed to take visitors through its seasonal expressions of natural beauty, which complement the paintings that hang on the walls of the museum it surrounds.
All art museums change their exhibitions from time to time. Not many are able to redefine their entire environment in tune with the changing seasons. Julian Ryall writes of a visit to the Adachi Museum of Art :
….Before reaching the Moss Garden—replete with pine trees and carefully positioned rocks where the mosses can thrive—a short detour takes in the Juryu-An Tea House, where I am encouraged to sample the green tea as I admire a garden that has been subject to the most painstaking attention. Like the rest of the gardens, not a leaf, rock or pine needle is out of place. The gravel has been raked to perfection. The only sounds I can hear are of the wind and waterfalls designed to spill delicately into lower pools. Of all the gardens that I pass through at the museum, this is the most enchanting.
It is quintessentially Japanese.
Interestingly, there is a house near the Pond Garden in which Zenko used to live, wherein I found an unusual tokonoma alcove. This alcove does not feature the conventional scroll, but instead has an open window onto the garden beyond...
|Tokonoma alcoves traditionally feature a hanging scroll of calligraphy or fine art; |
the alcove in this room is a “living” hanging scroll, offering visitors a constantly changing view of the
White Gravel and Pine Garden.
Credit: ROBERT GILHOOLY