A Japanese garden at the gates of Paris: 3 tips to adopt the Zen spirit in your garden

Walking in a public Japanese garden is now possible in Île-de-France. Located at the gates of Paris, in Issy-les-Moulineaux, de “Ichikawa Japanese Garden” offers a unique window into a tradition to which the town of Issy-les-Moulineaux is linked and let you be inspired to bring a little zen to your own garden.

Stones, lanterns, a waterfall, Japanese cherry trees… No doubt we are here in a Japanese garden. Unique in France, this place is free to the public as it is the result of a collaboration between the city of Issy-les-Moulineaux and Ichikawa, a Japanese city east of Tokyo.

It took three years of work between 2013 and 2016 to realize this “Ichikawa Japanese Garden”† The latter is a tribute to different periods in Japan’s history: Momayama (1573-1603) and Edo (1600-1868), as stated on the site Nightlife in Paris† It also invites a philosophical reflection on life and, through the choice of materials and their arrangement, represents the transition from the mountains to the sea.

Photo: Issy.com

“Technics from the Jardins d’Ichikawa Cooperative and their colleagues from Issy collaborated to create this garden together, from the design of the plans to the choice of materials, including the installation of the lanterns and the pruning of the pines. To this day they talk about the maintenance of the garden to ensure its development in the rules of the art!”

Do you want to take inspiration from this garden to provide your own property with an ode to zen, meals and meditation? Here are the lessons to be learned from the choices made for this garden, which has been open to the public since 8 May 2022.

Combine stones and plants

For this garden, the designers have chosen to combine large ornamental stones with plants that represent the mountain and the ground. The round stones refer to the island and the smaller gravel symbolizes the sea.

Photo: Issy.com

Create water points

Water is a very important element in Japanese gardens. It refers to the passage of time and the cycle of life. To enhance this element in a garden, as in Ichikawa’s Japanese garden, install a waterfall, pond and pebble beach.

Installing furniture and decorative elements

What would a Japanese garden be without its lanterns? as remembered Nightlife in Paris, lanterns have traditionally been used to illuminate the entrance to Buddhist temples. They were also meant to “to reassure weak spirits at nightfall”† There are different kinds of lanterns according to the historical periods of Japan. Misaki, Kasuga, Tribe or Yukimi: it’s up to you to see which one suits your garden project best.

Photo: Issy.com

Finally, the Ichikawa Garden also installed a gazebo (“Azumaya”), a symbol of serenity and peace. It is a small shelter, ideal to sit in the shade of the sun’s rays and enjoy a moment in close proximity to nature.

A few kilometers from the Japanese garden of Issy-les-Moulineaux, you can stroll in another Japanese garden: that of the Albert-Kahn Museum, in Boulogne, a relic of the banker and philanthropist’s journeys in the Land of the Rising Sun .

Photo: © CD92/B. From Changy

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