Things To Do

Jason Allen 09/01/23

Kyoto Garden

Kyoto Garden | A perfectly- manicured pocket of Japanese zen in Holland Park

A Haiku:

Kyoto Garden,
Tranquil Japanese park space…
…not in Kyoto.

Because it’s actually in Holland Park.

Yes, Hyde Park may be the better known green space in the West London/Kensington area thanks to crowd-pullers like the Serpentine Galleries and the Serpentine Lido, but its smaller sibling (and by smaller, we mean ‘a mere 22 hectares’) boasts one of the best secret gardens in London. Kyoto Garden is like a park hidden within a park: park-ception

Opened back in 1992, Kyoto Garden was a gift from the city of Kyoto itself; a gesture of goodwill to commemorate the longstanding friendship between Great Britain and Japan (which mostly derives from our mutual respect for proper queuing etiquette). The garden itself is designed in the ‘kaiyushiki’ style, which translates to ‘stroll garden’, and is centred around a gorgeously tiered waterfall that ends in a placid, ornamental pond full of native Japanese Koi Carp.

Kyoto Garden

Image credit: Ablohkin

For horticulture vultures, the Kyoto Garden has an array of impressive foliage on display including weeping acer trees – also known as Japanese maple trees – and dahlias. But most impressive of all, due to its significance to the Japanese culture and limited flowering season, is the famous cherry blossom tree; bright pink when in bloom, it represents the fragility and beauty of life and is rightly celebrated in Japan. The time to see is them flowering is normally between late March and April (the middle of spring, really), and taking a hanami (cherry blossom viewing) stroll makes for one of the more unique date ideas in Notting Hill. You know, for blossoming romances and all that…

Beyond the greenery, you can check out the beautiful stone lanterns, stroll over the quaint marble bridge, and enjoy the babbling of the stream that unite to give Kyoto Garden its peaceful atmosphere. There’s even a muster of peacocks to admire.

And yes, that is the collective noun for a bunch of peacocks.


NOTE: The Kyoto Garden is open from 7.30am, and closes 30 minutes before dusk each day. It’s free to visit, and you can find out more right HERE.

Kyoto Garden | Holland Park, Holland Park Ave, Kensington, W11 4UA

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Kyoto Garden

Holland Park, Holland Park, W11 4UA