The Hill and Pond Garden was created for strolling. The pond is set on the slope from which a waterfall can drop into the lake below. This is the classical setting for a Chisen Kaiyu Shiki, or hill and pond style garden. This style reached great popularity by the 17th century. As you stroll the twisting paths surrounding the pond, you will discover the power of aesthetic form underlying the enchanting views. The ike, or pond, is meant to represent the sea, lake, pond or river in nature.
The Zen Garden is a dry garden whose primary purpose is for meditation viewing. It is never entered. One may contemplate the raked pattern of gravel and large stones that represent water and islands. Accents at Hakone include a shrine lantern, a black pine tree, and bamboo.
The Tea Garden is the entryway for the tea ceremony rooms, and provides a soothing, tranquil journey over moss and stepping stones. Guests participate in a transforming realm of beauty and elegance as they purify their hands at the tsukubai, or water basin. Enclosed for privacy, this cool serene enclosure of delicate plant life prepares visitors to enter the tea ceremony rooms.
The Bamboo Garden was built through the combined efforts people and organizations from both Saratoga and its sister cities Muko and Kyoto in Japan. The bamboo garden that was created is a masterpiece of lasting beauty that emerged from a grass and brush-choked hillside.