Karesansui Garden in a Zen Temple


Tsukiyama Garden in a temple


Chaniwa Garden or tea garden

Japanese Gardens: the Chaniwa


A small Chaniwa garden

Chaniwa are the tea gardens which are found all around Japan. They are related to the tea ceremony which was started in Japan in the 14th century.

The garden has a tea ceremony house connected and the tea ceremony is performed there. The typical quality of the Chaniwa gardens is to have an atmosphere of loneliness and the feeling which is produced is of absolute withdrawal from the existing world. The main elements of Chaniwa gardens in Japan are the stone lanterns, stone basin etc. The tea gardens are very simple in decoration.

Chaniwa Japanese Garden
A chaniwa with the ceremony tea room in the background

The tea ceremony has a long history. The tea ceremony has been greatly inspired by Zen Buddhism and is performed while making tea. It is known as Sado. The ceremony includes different rituals and the hand movements have been prescribed and should be followed accordingly. The steps for the ceremony should be remembered thoroughly by the person performing the ceremony. The tea ceremony is performed in traditional Japanese rooms. The tea is supposed to be prepared by the host and then served to the guests. A proper tea ceremony will include a meal and two tea servings. The session will include quality discussion on topics like the utensils etc. The main mantra of the tea session is to - Live in this moment - which has been inspired from Zen Buddhism. It is important that everyone present in the ceremony is highly attentive and become an integral part of the whole process. Distraction of any order is not permissible as that would spoil the essence of the holy ceremony.

Chaniwa Japanese Garden the Tsukubai
The tsukubai and its water basin called chozubachi.

The Tsukubai is an arrangement of stones that includes the chozubachi (water basin), the flow of water pass through the bambou pipe located above, falling into the very center of the basin.
The water of the chozubachi is scooped with a ladle (shaku) and used for the purification purposes by the attendants of the tea ceremony.

These gardens are not always opened for public viewing.

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