1) Hide and reveal: As you stroll through the garden, you’ll spot its “hide and reveal” design. “The garden is arranged in a way that your eyes never have to compete for a view, so it relaxes your brain,” says Day. Winding pathways, small foot bridges, the view really does reveal itself in a soothing way.
2) Shakkei: The garden shares a view with a city lake, which seems to be part of the garden itself. This was intentional, and is a Japanese practice called “Shakkei” or “borrowed view.” It’s about using the landscape in the distance to make your own space more expansive.
3) A place of zen: A visit to the dry rock garden, accessed through a traditional Japanese pavilion in the centre of the garden, is truly a place of quiet contemplation. The rocks are regularly re-arranged in a variety of ways, letting the viewer decide what they see in the patterns.
4) Wabi-Sabi: Just like people who look better as they grow older, wabi-sabi, meaning “rustic beauty.” It’s the idea that things become more beautiful as they age. Many of the features in the garden are left to age on their own, opting for repair over replacement whenever possible.
5) The Japanese pavilion: Removing your shoes at the door and walk onto the rich wood floors of the pavilion. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to Japan. Inside you can experience a traditional tea ceremony or view exhibit items on display, then step outside to the wooden deck to listen to the gurgling waterfall nearby.