Japanese Garden Notes: A Visual Guide to Elements and Design

No. Pages: 296
Dimensions: 6 5/8 x10"
Format: Casebound
Price: $59.95
ISBN: 978-1-61172-035-8


Matching some 400 color photographs to brief, informed observations, renowned garden designer Marc Peter Keane walks us through 100 Japanese gardens, stopping along the way to note essential elements of design, technique, and culture. Covering everything from large-scale aspects of space and balance to subtle elements that are often overlooked, this is an innovative, stunningly visual guide for planning and inspiration.  


About the author

"The undisputed American master of Japanese garden scholars.”—New York Times, Dominique Browning

Landscape architect and author Marc Peter Keane lived in Kyoto, Japan, for nearly 20 years and specializes in Japanese garden design. He lives in Ithaca, New York. 



“In this thoughtful, marvelous book, Marc Keane distills over three decades experience observing, sketching, photographing, researching, and building Japanese gardens. The result is a series of compelling verbal and visual reflections on the design principles and philosophical values of Japanese gardens. These concise insights—some familiar, others fresh—are relevant to anyone who cares about how places of beauty are created and why they are meaningful. In the crowded field of books on Japanese gardens, Marc Keane has produced a classic.”

Kendall H. Brown, author of Quiet Beauty: The Japanese Gardens of North America

“More than any other book on Japanese Gardens, Marc Keane’s book sheds light on the intricate and often overlooked details and important nuances of the Japanese garden with the insight of an experienced designer and practitioner and the eloquence of a scholar, of which Keane is both. With stunning photography of some of the most significant public and private gardens in Japan taken by the author, this book is a much needed addition to the existing literature on Japanese gardens—a must-have volume for anyone seriously interested in understanding the spirit and attention to subtle detail that make Japanese gardens places of tranquility and refuge wherever they exist in the world.”

Diane Durston (Arlene Schnitzer Curator of Culture, Art, and Education) and Sadafumi Uchiyama (Garden Curator), Portland Japanese Garden

Japanese Garden Notes may be one of the most exquisitely photographed books on Japanese gardens ever published. Keane picks up on the fine details that real lovers of Japanese gardens savor, but which rarely get commented on or illustrated. Organized by theme, this book gives the reader a rich overview of Japanese garden art, while pleasing the eye with surprising, intimate, even intense, photographs.

Alex Kerr, author of Lost Japan

Japanese Garden Notes captures the beauty and intelligence of Japanese gardens better than any book I know of. It is a remarkable document."

Leonard Koren, author of Wabi-Sabi: for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers 

"Keane is the perfect person to expound on the finer aspects of the Japanese garden. [Japanese Garden Notes] captures the elegance of such a calming place."

JQ magazine