The garden provides a peaceful space on campus to stroll, sit, and learn more about Japanese culture. The plantings, including pines, Japanese maples, and cherry trees, have been carefully selected to provide beauty through all four seasons. The garden contains several traditional elements: a dry gravel garden and a water garden with traditional walking paths.
This garden is dedicated to the late Mr. Megumi Shigematsu, generous sponsor of LCC programs in Japan and former President of Biwako Kisen Company
In the karesansui (literally, "dried mountain water") style garden, the gravel typically represents water or the sea while the large rocks represent mountains or islands. The condition of the sea is expressed by the raked patterns in the gravel. These types of gardens are usually found at Zen Buddhist temples and are intended to inspire contemplation.
The Shigematsu Memorial Garden contains two stone lanterns. The larger one is referred to as yukimi (a snow-viewing lantern) while the smaller on is called misaki (a cape lantern). These lanterns are sometimes lit with candles or incense. Notice how the yukimi lantern is bigger than the misaki. The snow-viewing lantern needs to be bigger so it does not get buried by winter snow.
Moon-viewing platforms are a common element of the Japanese garden and often extend over a pond. The platform provides the visitor with a unique opportunity to "connect" with nature while also serving as a convenient way to view the koi.
Pond and Koi
Ponds and koi (Japanese carp) are essential features of the Japanese garden. The sound of running water and the sight of the colorful koi swimming leisurely between the lotus plants produces a calming effect on visitors to the garden. Notice the two islands in the pond. What do they look like to you? Can you identify which island looks like a crane? A tortoise? In traditional Japanese mythology the crane and tortoise symbolize longevity.
Upon entering the garden, the visitor is greeted with a water basin shaped in the design of an ancient Japanese coin.
The hill occupies the center of the strolling garden and was designed to represent Mt. Hiei and Mt. Hira in Shiga Prefecture. It consists of plants that represent the seasons. A large pine tree dominates the hill, providing a splash of green all year long and symbolizing everlasting life. Cherry trees and maple trees were planted on the hill and along the pathways to provide the visitor with beautiful colors in both the Spring and Fall seasons.