Allan Mandell, tour leader ~ Judith, our guide

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Learn more about your tour leader, Allan, and your tour guide, Judith

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Learn more about the next Kyoto Garden Tour

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Check for details about upcoming Spring and Fall tours

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Testimonials ... real quotes from real people

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Hear from people who've been on Allan's tours in previous years

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Allure


Allure is defined as the quality of being powerfully and mysteriously attractive or fascinating.  You can feel this within the first moments of stepping into a Japanese garden.  The outer world falls away as you are instantly pulled into another realm … or perhaps more accurately, as you willingly surrender […]

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So soft, so green, so irresistable


Moss  … who can resist its fuzzy luxuriance ?  An essential element found in so many of the gardens in Kyoto, prized for its soothing naturalistic qualities, moss bestows its calming effects on the garden and on the mind. For an enjoyable look into the world of moss, try this […]

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My recommended reading list


Listed here are some of my all-time road-tested favorite titles for those of you who, like myself, are drawn to explore Kyoto.  Dipping into these books will help with your understanding and appreciation of Japanese aesthetics and culture, especially garden design. I have grouped these into three main categories, although […]

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Seeing in the Gardens of Kyoto


The gardens of Japan, specifically those located in and around in Kyoto, offer the perfect environment to practice to art of seeing.  I believe it is possible to train yourself in this art, to be aware of the fine subtleties that present themselves in the visual world, much as a […]

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Shisendo in Autumn


Shisendo in autumn, Kyoto, Japan

  This moon-viewing room is within one of the gardens we will be visiting on our tour.  Shisendo was  the former villa of a retired samurai, and the garden is elegantly laid out on a multi-leveled site that blends into a maple forest.  One could easily spend hours here.

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