During Lockdown we took the opportunity to take our daily exercise and go cycling to visit places that were a lot quieter than usual, mostly parks and open spaces, Bob doesn’t know the tourist sites (Buckingham Palace Etc) However one place we wanted to go to and tried to go to was the Kyoto Garden in the middle of Holland Park, Sadly at the time it was closed. So this week we went back! Thankfully this time it was open!
This year we had wanted to go on holiday we were talking about Japan – but naturally we couldn’t go and instead was stuck in this country
So we had to settle for a little bit of Japan here.
The Kyoto Gardens were opened in 1991 as a gift from the city of Kyoto to the UK. These days it’s just a little piece of tranquil space in an otherwise busy Urban Park in the Metropolis. Filled with a waterfall, lake and a number of animals including Peacock and some huge Koi Carp.
We arrived via Holland Park Tube on a gloriously sunny and warm Wednesday afternoon and having treated ourselves of the necessary Iced Coffees headed up the rather steep Holland Walk and into the park. We passed the onslaught of mothers and buggies, a plethora of dog walkers with their Spaniels (the only dog allowed it seems!) and wandered to the gardens.
It wasn’t that busy – because it was a weekday afternoon, but there were still 2 dozen or so people circling the lake. The Social Distancing rules mean walking in a Clockwise Direction only, but the path is only about 50metres each way (150m circuit) and passes over a granite block bridge, passed the waterfall, the lake and through well maintained lawns and plants.
As it is a Japanese formal garden it is all very clean and precise the only chaos is the animals, Peacocks wander across the footpath and the Koi swim back and forth in a gang, searching for food.
The only other factor is the people, while most are calm and sit enjoying the quiet, there are always some who see the space as their own to shout and run around, splash and dunk their trainer in the water and try to kick the fish. Thankfully this group didn’t last in the space for long and were instead replaced on the bridge by a Ballet Dancer from a local school or dance company (we never did find out where), who proceeded to jump and execute a series of Arabesques and Attitudes on the bridge in front of the waterfall for photographer sat across the lake.
We circled the lake a few times, watched the Peacocks strut their stuff and marvelled at the waterfall. Fed some of the local friendly Squirrels, took some photos of the water feature and enjoyed the Maples and Bonsai Trees.
Before heading back to the chaos and bustle of Kensington Hight St and headed home again.
It’s a shame that isn’t our local bit of park, but it is a lovely place to visit if you are in the area and Climbing Moss recommends that if you find yourself Kensington way that take an hour and go and enjoy the Kyoto Garden.