Most Japanese gardens are intended to be seen from outside looking in and have a feeling of being seperate from our everyday world. Enclosure of the garden is achieved by the use of gates and fences whether wooden or made of Bamboo.
Zen gardens are havens of tranquilty and contemplating whilst a Japanese garden is also a place where visitors can go to escape form the stresses and strains of life – a gate signifies the place where you can enter this separate world and a signifier of returning to the world once you exit the garden.
You may think that fences are all about ‘enclosure’ and that thought would seem obvious and to a certain extent is right. Fences also have another meaning associated with them its called ‘Miegakure’ in Japanese a pretty accurate translation would be ‘Hide and reveal’.
So if you are thinking of making a Japanese garden imagine how tantalising some fencing would be adorned with climbers that give the visitor a small glimpse of what lies behind your fencing – a stunning Japanese garden.
If you are keen to make a Tea garden in your space then the gate will open to a pathway that will lead to your Tea house.
The whole concept of the use of gatesand fences in a Japanese garden is all about teasing what lies within the boudaries and containing the space for respite from everyday life. The latter being the reason that these types of garden appeal to so many Westerner’s and Japanese garden designers.
A Japanese garden is a miniature expression of nature and has to be sealed off from the outside world and its worth remebering that fences and gates are just as inportant ina Japanese garden as a stone lantern or Azaleas!