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Jul 24. 2013 Japanese Garden in Schonbrunn Palace Revisited

2013.07.24

In last June, I had a chance to revisit Japanese garden in Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna after 14 years. The scenery seen from the airport was slightly changed, but townscape appeared as same as before. It was seemed like time had stopped for 14 years since I left. The city made me wonder what makes difference compared with countries like Japan or China changing day by day.

After checking in a hotel, I headed to the palace. As I got off as the familiar station, I felt relieved by seeing same sushi restaurant owned by same Korean was still in business.

Japanese garden is located at the west of the place, between zoo and a large conservatory. The oldest zoo in the world was renewed and crowded with a lot of children. Japanese garden has been aged and welcomed us as its complete condition.

Gardeners of Schonbrunn Palace made the garden in 1912 as they has learnt Japanese garden at Chelsea Garden Show in England. Devastated after World WarⅠ, it was called Tyrol Garden locally. As relationship was somehow linked over, Japanese team renovated this historical garden with adding new garden on the both sides to reopen in 1999.

Waterfall accompanied with ponds was set centrally at right straight to the main axis lead from the large conservatory. Additionally, Karesansui garden on the left as well as tea garden at the right were newly arranged. Huge conifers standing vertically on site frame the landscape with garden trees like pines planted in front has not changed since the completion. As examining in details, edges of tile paving were cracked because of probable coldness in winter, and it was a bit pity to see “Shishiodoshi (deer-scarer)”that visitors enjoyed, has been removed.

Concerning with the bamboo fence, it was still in good condition, because Vienna has less humidity, and it was quite effective to feature ideas for extending durability by roofing the bamboo fence as well as using artificial bamboos applied at perishable parts. Even though, it would be sustainable for next 10 years with the current condition, it is better to make preparation for the time to replace. Small but dense Japanese garden at the palace garden in magnificent size is outstanding differently as compared with the baroque garden, and it certainly satisfies its role as a part of the world historical heritage. Also, it is very honored as a person involved with the garden making to see Japanese garden distinctively indicated in guidebook of the palace as well as the guide map in the garden.

Yoshiki Toda

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