21000 Big Basin Way
Saratoga, CA 21000
As the oldest surviving Japanese-style residential gardens in the Western Hemisphere, Hakone's tranquility and elegance beautifully express the aesthetics of the Japanese ideal of the garden as a space in which art and nature merge seamlessly for the observer. The cultivation of nature in miniature dates back to the introduction of Buddhism to Japan (in 538 AD) when the tradition of transforming a garden into a blissful dwelling place to experience timeless beauty becomes a central element of Japanese garden design. Hakone is made up of a variety of hillside gardens, historic buildings, multi-tiered waterfalls and koi ponds, strolling gardens, unique lanterns, stonework and many other elements of Japan's ancient civilization. The harmonious placement of plants, stones, waterfalls and ponds are the essence of a Japanese garden and offer sublime beauty in all seasons. The first documented garden plan was made in 618 AD and by 620 AD the first man-made pond with a small island was introduced.