A Living Art Form

Japanese gardens are living art forms, that engage viewers in an interactive, multi-sensory experience. As you navigate Shinzen’s winding pathways, pay close attention to the visual elements that make up this three-dimensional work of art. Just as a painter uses pigments, brushes and a surface to create an image, so too does a landscape designer utilize rocks, plants, water, architectural and sculptural features to create a visual masterpiece. These elements are landscape designer’s tools, which are used to build visual texture, pattern, and color effects. They are carefully organized to create a composition.


Shinzen is a dynamic composition. Because plants, trees and water are in state of flux—no single perspective is the same. Each twist and turn provides a different scene and a range of emotional experiences that unfold with each step.


Shinzen is organized around the concept of the four seasons. You will see granite posts placed throughout the garden as visual cues. Depending on the time of year of your visit you’ll experience the best of each season: the bursts of delicate plum blossoms in the spring, the coolness of the water features in the summer, the haunting maple branch silhouettes in the winter, and glowing fall foliage of the Chinese pistache and ginkgo trees. The four seasons is a visual and organizational strategy, marked by the seasonal variations in the life cycle of a plant.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 16178, Fresno, CA 93755-6178

© 2014 Shinzen Friendship Garden. All Rights Reserved. Registered 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization