From Oblivion to Eternity: Zen In The Japanese Garden

The Japanese Garden at The Irish National Stud

One may be surprised to learn that one of the finest European examples of an early 20th Century Japanese Garden is located at the National Stud in County Kildare.

Tass Eida

Japanese master horticulturist Tassa Eida and his son Minoru created this stunning garden over a century ago, between 1906 and 1910. The garden was commissioned by Colonel William Hall Walker, a wealthy Scotsman whose family made their fortune in brewing.

Eida’s work isn’t just a masterpiece of landscaping, it is a philosophical exploration of what it means to be human, a story told through trees, rocks, and water.

"A place to take time out of our busy and hectic schedules, to simply be present and enjoy the simple things in life."

The path Eida has carved out for us is one that mirrors our own journey through life. Each section representing a stage in life.

As we enter through the Gate of Oblivion, we find ourselves in the Cave of Birth, where shafts of light represent our emergence into life.

"Eida encourages us to pause and reflect on the serene beauty of The Garden of Peace and Contentment."

The Journey

Eida leads us from birth, childhood and down the Path of Adventure towards marriage and a multitude of other routes. Some are easy, others more challenging, while the rest are simply dead ends.

The Gateway of Eternity

Passing the Well of Wisdom and crossing The Bridge of Life, Eida encourages us to pause and reflect on the beauty of The Garden of Peace and Contentment.

Finally we journey to The Hill of Mourning, passing through The Gateway of Eternity. Our journey comes to an end.

A Place to Reflect

The Japanese Garden at the National Stud is a masterful piece of horticultural. A hidden gem in the heart of the thoroughbred county.

A perfect example of how gardens play such an important role in our lives.

They are a place to take time out of our busy schedules, to simply be present and enjoy the simple things in life.

We couldn’t recommend The Irish National Stud and Gardens more. Go early to really take advantage of the serene nature of the gardens.

Be sure to stop into the restaurant, which has a fantastic selection of delicious and healthy options.

Due to COVID restrictions, all visits must be booked in advance. You can book tickets and find out more below:

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Words - David Smith

Images: A Butcher's Hook

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