last weekend, b surprised me with an afternoon date at hakone garden. hakone garden is the oldest japanese garden in the western hemisphere. the original construction of the gardens began in 1917. isabel stine had just returned from a year long voyage in japan and had all the inspiration she needed to make a breathtaking and authentic japanese garden. hakone garden is 18 acres and can be seen within a hour.
i loved the peace and tranquility i felt immediately upon entering the garden. there were less than 15 people there when we arrived and all that could be heard was the crashing of the waterfall and birds chirping.
one of my favorite spots, besides the lake, was the bamboo garden. the bamboo garden at hakone garden is said to represent the close friendship with saratoga’s sister city, muko-shi, japan (a suburb southwest of kyoto). i love how much thought is put into the symbolism of each aspect of a japanese garden. every plant, stone, bridge is placed in a certain spot for a specific reason and not just to “look pretty”.
there was a wedding reception being set up as we were leaving the garden. the bride wore a beautiful traditional japanese kimono. all her family and bridesmaids were also in kimonos. it was stunning. makes me want to head to kyoto!
don’t forget to pick up some fish food at the hakone gift shop (also where you purchase entry tickets) so you are able to feed the koi and turtles! this was b’s favorite part.