Taste of Japan

by Khushboo on August 17, 2012

At the first sound of London, chances are the following sights come to mind:

  • Big Ben
  • London Bridge
  • London Eye
  • Buckingham Palace

As beautiful as they all are, there is so much more to London which goes unnoticed.  I lived in England for 8 years and am still coming across new sights such as the Kyoto Garden.  Especially as it’s a small fenced-off area in Holland Park (West Kensington), it’s easy to pass by unless you specifically know it exists.

The garden was only created in 1991 as a gift from Kyoto to commemorate the long friendship between Japan & Great Britain.  Although I am yet to visit Japan, I definitely feel like I got a taste of it yesterday: the garden is carefully designed to reflect key traits of Japanese gardens including stone lanterns, tiered waterfalls and plenty of fish.  At the risk of sounding like a total cheeseball, the garden’s beauty has a rather peaceful & restorative effect.

As much as I love to hang out with friends, eat at restaurants, and shop, I more than enjoyed seeing something new in London.  After walking around for a bit and instagramming away, my mom, sister, and I set up a picnic…talk about making the most of London summer! I won’t lie: being able to spend an enjoyable afternoon in this city for a grand total of £0 was a refreshing change.  Whether you’re in London, or planning to visit, I can’t recommend checking out the Kyoto Garden enough!

What’s a  noteworthy sight in your city, “hidden gem” or not? 

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Geetu August 17, 2012 at 3:26 pm

This looks amazing! I’m definitely going to go! Hope you are enjoying london :) xxx

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Khushboo Thadani August 19, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Let me know how you like it :)

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Alexandra August 17, 2012 at 3:29 pm

How cool is that! I’d love to see it one day :)

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Khushboo Thadani August 19, 2012 at 4:05 pm

You must if/when you visit London!

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Tessa@AmazingAsset (@Tessa8m) August 17, 2012 at 5:33 pm

This looks truly amazing… definitely a place I would love to see one day :) I hope you continue to have a great time there!

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Khushboo Thadani August 19, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Thanks :)

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Parita August 17, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Love that you got to spend some time relaxing! A not so hidden gem that I need to take more advantage of around here is the Atlantic Ocean. :)

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Khushboo Thadani August 19, 2012 at 4:06 pm

You must while you can…I wish I made more use of traveling around Africa when I lived in Nigeria!

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forgottenbeast August 17, 2012 at 9:14 pm

I had no idea that was hidden in London! How beautiful and calming to find something like that in the middle of a city. My city has some great parks that are only a 15-20min drive away, so while technically not “in” the city, it’s so easy to get away and see lots of trees/go for a hike.

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Khushboo Thadani August 19, 2012 at 4:06 pm

I wish there were places nearby to go hiking…can’t remember the last time I went!

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Brittany August 17, 2012 at 11:24 pm

Can I come visit you…PLEASE!!?!??

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Khushboo Thadani August 19, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Hop on a flight :)

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Corrie Anne August 17, 2012 at 11:54 pm

I’m going to go with the Rocky Mountains! :)

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Khushboo Thadani August 19, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Good call :) ! Which state do you live in?

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Honey What's Cooking August 18, 2012 at 11:56 am

London is famous for its parks, i’ll have to check them out, i’m really excited about Hyde Park. Hmm… well I live 10 mins from NYC, a hidden gem is downtown Jersey City, most people focus on NYC, understandably so, but downtown JC has gorgeous views of Manhattan that most people miss. :-)

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Khushboo Thadani August 19, 2012 at 4:08 pm

I’m one of those people who would never think to visit Jersey City….that might have to change after your comment :)

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Jess August 18, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Sounds beautiful! I love Japan! Definitely nice to have such a wonderful and peaceful activity that is free on your door step!!!

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Khushboo Thadani August 19, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Where about in Japan have you visited? I hope to one day!

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sprint2thetable August 19, 2012 at 12:57 am

How cool you have a Japanse garden! I love the story behind it too.

Atlanta has a lot of fun hidden gems in it’s neighborhoods. I love the sunken garden trail in Midtown – makes for a great walk and you forget you’re even in the city.

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Khushboo Thadani August 19, 2012 at 4:10 pm

This garden trail sounds great- sometimes it’s nice to be able to escape the hustle & bustle that comes with city life!

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Tara August 19, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Ooo I did not know this existed, how cool!

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Khushboo Thadani August 19, 2012 at 4:11 pm

You must visit soon…before it starts cooling down!!

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Kailey August 20, 2012 at 4:15 am

Oh I love the little waterfall – looks like a gorgeous place to visit :D

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Khushboo Thadani August 20, 2012 at 2:22 pm

It was my favorite part too :)

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Sara @ Nourish and Flourish August 20, 2012 at 11:43 am

I lived in (and explored) Kensington for a summer, yet I had no idea that there was a beautiful Japanese garden so close to my flat! It looks like a perfectly tranquil place to escape to when you need a little break from the hustle and bustle of city life. Next time I’m in London, I’ll definitely be sure to go!

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Khushboo Thadani August 20, 2012 at 2:23 pm

DId you ever blog about your time in London? Would love to read it :)

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Min August 21, 2012 at 6:54 pm

How fun! Kyoto garden looks gorgeous! Looks similar to the one I went to in Portland, Oregon. I went to Japan two winters ago with my mom and sister, more specifically Hokkaido. So fun!

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Khushboo Thadani August 22, 2012 at 3:00 am

THat’s awesome you visited Japan, I hope to sometime soon :) !

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Nada (One Arab Vegan) August 26, 2012 at 11:25 am

The Kyoto gardens look gorgeous! Definitely on the agenda for my next trip.

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Khushboo Thadani August 26, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Hope the weather is still great when you visit it…really is breath-taking!

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