Tour theme - gardens & plants
Chikugo Valley in Early Spring (garden plants)
San'in Gardens & Art Odyssey (gardens)
Central Japan Wilderness & Prehistory Trek (wild plants)
Japan Alps Panorama Trek (wild plants)
Akita & Northern Iwate Culture of Forests (wild plants)
The following itineraries feature some gardens and plants component:
Japan has a world-renowned garden tradition that has evolved for over 2000 years. The famous gardens of Japan, such as the temple and tea gardens of Kyoto, have long been major attractions among international visitors. There are many other traditional gardens, however, that are superb masterpieces but hardly known outside of Japan.
The Japanese garden tradition is actually a diverse mix of influences including prehistoric nature worship, Buddhism, Chinese cosmology, and the cultures of the imperial court, samurais and Edo-period daimyos. However, Japanese gardens are united by the underlying philosophy of respect for nature—i.e. gardens are a representation and celebration of nature, rather than that of human control over nature. The calming effect of Japanese gardens reflects the harmony with nature that the Japanese have traditionally valued.
Japan is a botanical paradise. Being part of the biodiversity hotspot extending from the Himalayas to northeastern Asia, the small nation is home to over 7000 species of higher plants, many of them endemic. From the sombre subarctic forests of the north and alpine wildflower meadows on mountain tops, to the lush subtropical rainforests of the Okinawas, Japan’s natural vegetation is diverse and beautiful. European traders and plant-hunters during the 18th and 19th centuries introduced Japanese native plants to the West, many of which became parent to garden plants popular around the world today—among others, azaleas, camellias, maples and magnolias. Traditional beliefs and land management systems have contributed to preserving much of Japan’s vegetation cover into modern times.
If you love gardens and plants, we invite you to join us on one our tours, guided by an expert on Japanese plants with over 15 years of experience in Japanese garden design. Discover the exquisite gardens of regional Japan, including hidden gems rarely visited by international visitors. Explore the beautiful forests, countryside and alpine areas of Japan and delve into the origins of garden plants. Venture beyond the tourist trail and open your eyes to the vast world of Japanese gardens and plants.