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The Zen gardens of Kyoto have attracted countless admirers and served as inspiration to many artists, designers and other creative people. Steve Jobs, for whom Zen Buddhism was an inspiration, praised Kyoto’s gardens, and the minimalism of Zen aesthetics became a strong inspiration behind the design of Apple Inc. products.

The association of a traditional, disciplined minimalism with Japanese rock gardens, such as that of Kyoto’s Ryoanji temple, has become so familiar worldwide, it is virtually a cliche. But there are also great examples of Japanese gardens that go beyond traditionalism to provide tranquility and space for contemplation.

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