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Though overshadowed by Kyoto, which boasts more than 200 listed gardens, Tokyo likely has the foremost concentration of formal gardens of any Asian capital.

Garden scholars have been unrelentingly snooty when comparing the refined gardens of Kyoto with the more showy style of old Tokyo, but, as this book demonstrates, the capital is home to an extraordinary number of gardens commissioned by daimyo, the heads of noble families. The predominant style of the Edo Period (1603 to 1868) was the stroll garden, with paths designed to reveal a series of perspectives resembling a mise en scene.

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