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The Aura of Calm

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On a recent unexpected layover in Tokyo, we were lucky to find a hotel in Shinagawa with a beautiful strolling garden. I would have missed it had I not caught a glimpse of greenery from the lobby after my morning walk. Since there was not much time before checkout, I skipped to the back door to discover this secret garden in the shadow of towering buildings. I wanted to learn more about Japanese gardens after this trip and found that there are several elements  defining a Japanese garden. 
First of these are the trees and plants which are especially chosen to provide texture. Various types of shrubbery, grasses, moss, conifers and trees are carefully selected depending on the type of garden. There are no shade trees. Subtle use of color is achieved with flowering trees and shrubs like azaleas, camellias and hydrangeas. A stone pagoda lantern completes the picture. Water and carp. The Japanese garden is a refuge of calm especially for city dwellers weary of the daily grind and water has …