True japanese style
The authenticity of these Japanese Gardens is beautifully affirmed by the subtle introduction and placement of a number of Japanese garden buildings and structures.
These structures were designed by architect Mike Roberts whose marriage to his Japanese wife
Kazue introduced him to a life long fascination with the architecture of Japan.
AZUMAYA (SUMMER PAVILION)
Our summer pavilion known as an ‘azumaya’, overlooks a lily pond. The design is reminiscent of the azumaya at Karatsu Castle in Kyusyu, Japan. This is an authentic Japanese structure in every way. It is made entirely of wood, without the use of nails, bolts or screws. It is uniquely situated beside a lower pond, and so the roof details are clearly visible from the upper approach. We hope all visitors will be able to appreciate the simplicity of the design but also the complexity of the entire wooden structure. It was constructed from local Irish timber by members of our garden staff (Richard Cowman and Alan Molloy).
OCHAYA (CEREMONIAL TEA HOUSE)
The tea ceremony traces its origins to the 8th century. This tea house is typical of the small size and rustic simplicity of Japanese tea houses designed to create a temporary respite from the complexities of daily life. The entire construction is of natural materials: with cedar shingles on the roof, timber pillars, bamboo poles and plastered walls.
Prior to taking part in a Japanese tea ceremony, invited guests traditionally engaged in a symbolic purification by ritual washing of their hands in the stone basin in the nearby tea garden. They would then enter the teahouse through the low crawl door to the side of the building to indicate their humility and unworldliness. The Tea House was built in true Japanese style by by our garden team, led by Richard Cowman.
SORI BASHI BRIDGE
The sori bashi is a gently arched wooden bridge designed to harmonise with nature rather than to stand out. The style and scale of Japanese bridges should fit their setting in the garden. The significance of a Japanese bridge is not merely practical but has strong spiritual connotations that help the visitor to engage in a meditative experience while exploring the garden The crossing over the bridge symbolizes the journey between the mortal world into the afterlife, and the cleansing of one’s worldly burdens that follow. Through this journey, the individual experiences a symbolic sense of purity, inner peace and a unity with nature.
The entrance gate from the Victorian garden to the Transition Garden is a typical Japanese Niwamon.
This is a timber garden gate with arched roof supported by side pillars.
This Fujidana was constructed and planted in 2017. Fujidana can be found in gardens throughout Japan. This Fujidana was constructed and planted with an overhang of Wisteria in 2017.