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Posted by
GJC (Kyoto, Japan) on 6 October 2009 in Lifestyle & Culture.

This is the same house as yesterday, with a view of the little garden called a "tsuboniwa" (坪庭) Tsubo is a very old measurement of land in Japan, with one tsubo equal to about 35 square feet or about 3 square metres. Because traditional Kyoto houses are built right on the street and because they are very long and narrow with no windows on their sides, these little gardens provide a respite from the noise and dust of the street as well as bringing light and air to the interior parts of the house. Moreover, the gardens are rich with symbolic meaning, each plant and each stone carefully chosen and carefully placed to provide resources for contemplation.

Tomorrow we will step out to the street and see the kyomachiya from the outside.

NIKON D300 1/5 second F/9.0 ISO 200 27 mm (35mm equiv.)

cat from Tel Aviv, Israel

I love the idea of these gardens, both their form and function. And this one is so beautiful - the tree seems to share the house with the human inhabitants. Here this would have already become a car park. Looking forward to seeing the next photograph.

6 Oct 2009 7:07am

Eric Cousineau from Sherwood Park, Canada

Beautifully captured and explained GJC! ;-)

6 Oct 2009 11:49am

grant from kansas city, United States

so much is happening is such little space. and the whole photo has a sense of being in motion somehow. i like it.

6 Oct 2009 4:06pm

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

Simply wonderful.

6 Oct 2009 4:20pm

Batkoï from Salon de Provence, France

lovelly shot, i'm found of this quiet place

6 Oct 2009 8:42pm

Lucca from Cologne, Germany

It has something like a miracle.

6 Oct 2009 8:49pm

Liang from San Francisco, United States

the glare adds so much interest, i love it. great colors of green!

6 Oct 2009 8:52pm

Howard F. from South Pasadena, Calif., United States

Beautiful little courtyard. This is the feeling that a landscape architects such as myself is trying to mimic and create- that seclusive but open feel... Nice!

6 Oct 2009 11:49pm

Tracy from La Selva Beach, United States

This is so tranquil and wonderful! I can only imagine having a little inner courtyard like that in my own home...

7 Oct 2009 2:45am

jpdm from Pignans, France

such a lovely garden, that offers light and serenity...thanx for all those explanations that help to know better about japan

7 Oct 2009 7:22am

Veronique from Sarrouilles, France

This garden is very peaceful and makes forget the houses nearby. Lovely light

7 Oct 2009 7:30am

Esther K ~ from Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Peace resides in this place. Who doesn't need this? Beautiful image, GJC.

7 Oct 2009 1:45pm

Anita from West Nottingham, United States

I see the tranquility of the little garden. What is that bright light at the top? It is jarring.

7 Oct 2009 10:34pm

1/5 second
ISO 200
27 mm (35mm equiv.)