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A Guide to the Gardens of Kyoto Paperback – December 18, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 202 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha USA; Revised edition (December 18, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4770029535
  • ISBN-13: 978-4770029539
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.6 x 5.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,057,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


The book's design is refreshingly simple and uncluttered, and as a guide is easy to carry around....[it] provides a solid, and at times charming, introduction to the extraordinary gardens of Kyoto. -The East


About the Author


MARC TREIB is Professor of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, a practicing designer, and a frequent contributor to architecture, landscape and design journals. His books include Modern Landscape Architecture: A Critical Review (editor, 1993); Space Calculated in Seconds: The Philips Pavilion, Le Corbusier and Edgard Varese (1997); Garett Eckbo: Modern Landscapes for Living (co-author, 1997); and The Architecture of Landscape, 1940-60 (editor, 2002)

RON HERMAN is a landscape architect specializing in residential and estate gardens, with his office in San Leandro, California. After receiving his degree in landscape architecture from the University of California, Berkeley, he studied the history of Japanese gardens at Kyoto University. He has lectured widely on Japanese landscapes and been the recipient of two Japan Foundation fellowships for garden research. His professional work has been extensively published.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 10 customer reviews
This is a useful, well organized, well thought out book.
Nighthawk 69
I will take this book, the 2nd edition I've carried as I wore the first one out.
L. Madsen
This book is an indispensible aide to anyone planning a trip on his own.
William Will

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By William Will on April 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is an indispensible aide to anyone planning a trip on his own. This book contains over 50 individual entries describing the gardens of Kyoto and environs, grouped by geographic location within the city. Overview maps for the different districts show the approximate location of the individual gardens, so that the traveller can put together itineraries for daytrips in the Kyoto area.

Each entry gives details of opening hours, historic background and special features of the garden described. The name of the garden and its location are additonally specified in Japanese characters, making this book the ideal travel guide for those embarking on a trip to Kyoto.

There is a limited number of photos, so that those wanting to plan a trip using the guide might consider referencing other books with numerous color photos to pick the specific gardens they are interested in.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ronin on June 5, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've met Ron Herman and he is one of the most talented landscape gardeners and an authoritative western expert on Japanese gardens in particular. Kyoto does not change fast, so even though the book is old this is still a highly valuable guide for anyone planning on visiting this remarkable city. This guide book describes all the major gardens in the 5-districts and their surroundings, and will help you decide what you want to see and how to get there. He also offers itineraries to help plan you trip.

The book has many good color and b/w photos, and numerous diagrams to give you an idea of what to expect. It also offers a brief history of Kyoto and the gardens, and describes the various styles. If you are visiting Kyoto for the first time, do a web search and find a good ryokan, or traditional inn for your stay. The Japanese understand service like no other, and this will significantly enhance your experience. They can be expensive and you'll get what you pay for (avoid Yachiyo Ryokan, its not worth the price and they're rude to westerners in a subtle and very Japanese way, like sticking you in the noisiest room when the place is empty or telling you to come back if you arrive a little early).

I also recommend Diane Durston's book "Old Kyoto", which has good cultural info and all the great places to shop & eat. You can skip the big name guide books if you get these two. Have a great one!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Gerard Taaffe on January 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
Don't leave home without this book! Anyone who is planning a trip to Japan (resident foreigners included) and has even the slighest interest learning about the Gardens of Kyoto should buy a copy of this superb book, which is small enough to carry in your shoulder bag. The book contains gives the balance of detail,giving good a historical background and landscape points overview. This is a buy you will not regret. Well done to the authors.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By david@drasla on October 18, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was greatly impressed with the historical text in the beginning of the book, which sets the stage for the rest. I have several books on Kyoto and Gardens of Japan, but this one is now my favorite.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. Madsen on February 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
I've visited the gardens and temples of Kyoto twice before, and am going again soon. I will take this book, the 2nd edition I've carried as I wore the first one out. A truly indispensable guide to the history and contents of the 50 sites it covers.
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