Hatakeyama Museum Garden
Archetypal Japanese Gardens... and Something More
Some are lucky enough to visit one, and many more are at least familiar with the image of an impeccably kept, meticulously manicured, obsessively tended Japanese garden. Generally embracing a minimalist aesthetic, they are widely believed to express the purest essence of traditional Japanese design and culture. The archetypal versions are beautiful and impactful, to be sure, but there’s also much to appreciate from a Japanese garden that’s allowed to change with the seasons — subject to its own time, place and the wear and chaos of nature.
The garden adjacent to the prestigious, yet somewhat hidden, Hatakeyama Memorial Museum of Fine Art in Tokyo’s Minato ward is a fine example of the latter. Home to four Japanese tea ceremony houses (which can be rented), this is a “garden of four seasons,” its owners say: from the evanescent cherry blossoms in spring to the “almost burning fire” red leaves in autumn,
one can return every season and witness different sceneries.
In this beautifully crafted video profile, our friends at DigitalHub.jp introduce you to the charming, 84-year-old Mrs. Hatakeyama herself. Speaking in a uniquely proper English uncommon for her generation (and subtitled in Japanese), she gives a succinct, informative history of the garden and its role in the museum’s history.
Connect with Hatakeyama Museum
Address: 2-20-12 Shirokane-dai, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Business hours: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (April – September), 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (October – March). Closed on Mondays, except on national holidays
Admission: ¥700 (Adults), ¥500 (Children)