Hakone Gardens
2100 Big Basin Way
Saratoga, CA

The harmonious placement of plants, stones, and water are the essence of a Japanese garden. They offer quiet beauty in all seasons.

Our tour takes us along the Pond Garden, created in 1917and the very heart of Hakone.

Mark Bessey and Yvette Keller were among those who chose to wear Japanese attire.

The photos below show off two more ensembles. All of them are typical of the beautiful fabrics and graceful lines of traditional Japanese dress.

We were a bit surprised by the unexpected change in the weather. The day was much warmer than predicted. Although we sought out the shade, Japanese dress was a very comfortable choice.

Victorian and Edwardian ladies and gentlemen set off on an tour of exploration. We visited the four gardens of Hakone: the Hill and Pond Garden, the Tea Garden, the Zen Garden and Kizuna-En, the Bamboo Garden.

In 1966, the City of Saratoga purchased Hakone Gardens to protect it from subdivision and development. Hakone is now a community cultural retreat and a treasure we can all enjoy.

We settled into a secluded, shady corner for our picnic. All of us felt the beauty and serenity of the gardens. 

The staff provided extra tables and chairs. We gathered together sharing our picnics, taking photos of each other. Sheri Jurnecka brought a stereoscope and a box of stereoscope cards. We looked back at photographs of Victorians -- not all that different from ourselves -- showing off their Finery and enjoying the company of friends.

By 1900, Kimonos were popular among Edwardian ladies. They were worn at home in the afternoon when serving tea to a few close friends. Painters found Japanese attire appealing and painted Edwardian Society Beauties wearing beautiful kimonos and striking graceful contemplative poses.

Our visit was made all the more enjoyable by the Hakone volunteers. The staff at Hakone Gardens was as welcoming and gracious as the garden itself. We wish to express our sincere appreciation for their efforts on our behalf.

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Thomas Dowrie and Trystan L. Bass. Trystan won kudos for her clever Sushi Polonaise. The fabric was a Sushi print. Her hat and purse were decorated with plastic Sushi and, of course, Thomas wears a Sushi print cravat.

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