Full Review: Hakone Japanese Garden

Take the entrance to the garden from Saratoga Avenue and go up the hill to the large parking lot. 


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     Saratoga ave entrance                 Entrance to garden


This is an historical site and garden that is located on a hill so it has some flat and some hilly paved walking paths as well as stone steps.  There are handrails in some areas of the garden. 



         Stone step path


As soon as you enter the garden, you will see a sign for the picnic area.  The next place you encounter is the Zen Garden. 


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                Picnic area                              Zen garden




      Zen garden flowers


There are many flowers and plants throughout the gardens such as azaleas, wild roses, Japanese maple, hinoki cypress, black pine, oaks, madrone, California laurel, California holly, California lilac, buckeye, elderberry, camellias and wisteria.  There are more than seven lanterns (Kasuga, Shrine, Momoyama, Farm House, Snow Viewing, Kanju-ji, Misaki) and carved stone images (Jizo Bodhisattva and Fudo the Fire God).


Next, you encounter the Tea Waiting Pavilion which is a shady area where you can sit.   The picture below shows a view of the steps leading up to the Upper Pavilion.  This is another shady area that leads through the Wisteria Arbor.


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 Tea waiting pavilion               Wisteria arbor


On the way back down to the Koi pond, you can get a view of the pond from the Moonviewing House and the steps leading down to the pond.


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         View of Koi pond                     View from the path


There are waterfalls on the way down as well as a tea plantation.


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          Waterfalls                         Tea plantation


Arrive at the Koi pond surrounded by a diversity of plants and turtles that are enjoying sunning themselves on the rocks.  Lastly visit the Bamboo garden.


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                Koi pond                                      Turtles



           Bamboo garden


The Garden hosts a number of classes including Tai Chi, Qigong, yoga and meditation.  They also have Japanese tea ceremonies.