The Japanese Landscape at Kew

Japanese Landscape

A highly manicured landscape comprised of three garden areas and created to complement the Chokushi-Mon (Japanese Gateway).

History and planting

The landscape was laid out in 1996 following restoration of the Japanese Gateway. In designing it, Professor Fukuhara of Osaka University adapted garden styles from the Momayama period when the original gateway in Japan was built.

With its highly manicured appearance, the Japanese Landscape contrasts strongly with the more natural-looking woodland areas nearby. 

The landscape comprises three garden areas.


The main entrance leads into the Garden of Peace, a tranquil area reminiscent of a traditional Japanese tea garden. Here, paths pass between stone lanterns and a dripping water basin.


The slope on the southern side of the Gateway is the Garden of Activity. This symbolises elements of the natural world, such as waterfalls, mountains and the sea. Here, raked gravel and large rocks represent the movement of water flowing and tumbling.


The Garden of Harmony links the Gardens of Peace and Activity. Here Japan’s mountain regions are represented by stones and rock outcrops, interplanted with shrubs. The plants include neatly clipped low-lying hedges of Rhododendron ‘Mothers’ Day’, and the Japanese anemone (Anemone x hybrida).


Japanese Gateway

Chokushi-Mon (Gateway of the Imperial Messenger) is a near replica of the Gate of Nishi Hongan-ji (Western Temple of the Original Vow) in Kyoto, Japan.

Created for the Japan-British Exhibition held at White City in London in 1910, The Japanese Gateway is built in the architectural style of the late-16th century Momoyama (or Japanese rococo) period.

The Gateway has finely carved woodwork with stylised flowers and animals, with the most intricately carved panels depicting an ancient Chinese legend about the devotion of a pupil to his master.


Japanese Gateway