Secret Garden

Aman Kyoto shares its forested slopes with nearby Unesco-protected ‘Golden Temple’ - sixteen other World Heritage Sites are located nearby, including Ryoan-ji’s Zen rock garden, and Ninna-ji Temple with its picturesque grounds. Takagamine and its neighbouring districts were havens for artisans in the 16th and 17th centuries – in particular weavers. Said to be the original designers of Aman Kyoto’s garden, they are also the reason for the garden’s revival by the property’s most recent owner, who envisaged a textile museum in its midst. 

Aman Kyoto Experience Secret Garden Aman Kyoto Experience Secret Garden Aman Kyoto Experience Secret Garden

Connections to the spiritual world  

The essence of traditional Japanese gardens lies in either Taoism with a focus on immortality, or Buddhism with its theme of rebirth in paradise. Gardens were designed as a medium to connect people to the spiritual world and were therefore usually associated with religious institutions. Designed by renowned landscape architect, Professor Shimoda, the garden at Aman Kyoto connects people to nature in the same way that Japanese gardens were traditionally connected to the spiritual world 

The maple trees canopies float like clouds  

The gardens were designed in such a way so as not to simply let nature take over, but to create a refined and aesthetically pleasing space. The maple trees are carefully placed so that their canopies float like clouds between two green layers. Above them are local evergreen trees, such as Japanese cedars over The Living Pavilion, and Camphor trees lining the main promenade. Underneath, evergreen shrubs such as Japanese andromeda, Japanese camellia, Japanese blue oaks, are blanketed by a luminous carpet of evergreen moss. 

A garden for all seasons  

Aman Kyoto’s garden changes like a kaleidoscope with the seasons. Winter’s camellias are spectacular against the garden’s evergreen Japanese cedars, andromeda and lush wood ferns, until February’s plum blossoms signal spring’s arrival. March and April’s famous cherry blossoms segue into summer’s plethora of blooms, from azaleas and peonies, to hydrangeas and irises. Autumn sets the garden’s Japanese maples on fire, as their magnificent red and orange foliage competes for attention with multi-hued chrysanthemums. The garden also features some rare endemic species, including asarum nipponicum, or ‘wild ginger’