Japan is far! And rather expensive. And then some photos of Japan show us that it’s a really weird country. Despite everything, it is not necessarily necessary to sell one of your kidneys to be able to go there knowing that in France too, you can find landscapes evoking those of the country of the Rising Sun. In the middle of cherry blossoms or not, on a small wooden bridge, in an atmosphere conducive to relaxation. And all that for a penny!
1. Albert Kahn Departmental Museum and Gardens (Boulogne)
Several spaces make it possible to appreciate multiple atmospheres in this relatively remarkable 3.9 hectare park. On the Japanese side, there is a Japanese village that Albert Kahn designed with the help of real Japanese gardeners, including a master gardener sent by the Emperor himself. All the sets that can be seen there, whether it is the pagoda, the bridges or the torii come from Japan. Suffice to say that it is difficult to do more authentic. The same goes for the adjoining garden.
2. Oriental Park of Maulévrier (Maine-et-Loire)
When it comes to the Japanese garden, this one is the top of the basket. A 29-hectare oriental park straddling a river, inaugurated in 1913, which is also the largest of its kind in Europe. There are the famous traditional torii, 300 species of plants, toro, these beautiful stone lanterns, and the replica of a Khmer Buddhist temple. Not to mention the permanent exhibition of bonsais and ceramics.
3. Pierre Baudis Japanese Garden (Toulouse)
Located in the city center, in the Compans-Caffarelli district, this garden, inaugurated in 1981, was born out of Mayor Pierre Baudis’ desire to offer Toulouse a real Japanese sanctuary. Covering an area of 7000 m2, it includes several oriental species, a charming red bridge, a mineral garden and a small islet inspired by the gardens of Kyoto. Island on which we find a tea pavilion, a dry waterfall, lanterns… Remarkable for the precision of its scenography and its respect for traditions, the Japanese garden in Toulouse is certainly immersive at will.
4. Japanese garden of the Château de Courances
Just under 50 km from Paris, the Château de Courances in Essonne is home to an extraordinary, very colorful Japanese garden. A creation by Berthe de Ganay, full of British influences, where it is good to stroll while inhaling the scent of flowers.
5. Erik Borja’s Zen Garden (Beaumont-Monteux)
When it comes to the Japanese garden, Erik Borja is the big name. As proof, its superb Zen garden, designed according to the precepts of Chinese Feng Shui, with a part dedicated to meditation, inspired by the Karesensui, raked every day in the early morning, or the tea garden with a beautiful pavilion … Classified among the remarkable gardens of France, Erik Borja’s creation stands out as a real little piece of Japan in Europe.
6. Chiminobambusa Trail (Hellemes)
The Chiminobambusa trail ticks all the boxes brilliantly and offers an uncompromising immersion in the atmosphere of the Land of the Rising Sun, with an authentic bamboo grove, Koi carp ponds, Zen gardens, stone lanterns… And in addition, icing on the cake, you can also attend various drawing workshops, calligraphy, haiku reading, etc.
7. Garden of Ly (Senarpont)
Japan is also in Normandy with this botanical creation in several parts, rich in particular with a collection of more than 150 bonsais. The owners, two enthusiasts, are also involved in topiary art, which consists of cutting shrubs to give them various and varied shapes.
8. Japanese Garden on the Island of Versailles (Nantes)
To go far without really moving, without a passport either or going through airport security gates, there’s nothing like a visit to this 1.7 hectare garden inaugurated in 1831 but only influenced by Japanese since 1983. Including three Japanese buildings, it also encompasses a Zen garden and a boatable lake.
9. Garden of the Rising Sun of the Botanical Park of Upper Brittany (Le Châtellier)
Covering an area of 25 hectares, this large botanical park allows you to go from one atmosphere to another in a single day, surrounded by plants and flowers. And of course, Japan has its place there via the Garden of the Rising Sun. We believe it!
10. Martin Luther King Jr. Park (Paris)
Yes, because we couldn’t end this false trip to Japan without going to Martin Luther King Jr. Park, in the 17th arrondissement of the capital to admire, when it’s the season, the cherry blossoms.