About Mark

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”


Mark Hovane’s lifelong passion for garden design was sparked during his childhood in Australia, where he designed and built a rock garden for his family home. As an undergraduate student in art history, he became fascinated by the Japanese aesthetic and read voraciously about traditional architecture and gardens. Vowing to make a pilgrimage to the heart of Japanese design, Mark moved to Kyoto in 1989 and began formal study of ikebana, tea ceremony and calligraphy.

As a long-term resident, Mark relishes the continual discovery of hidden landscapes and brings a wealth of insight to Kyoto Garden Experience. He invites you to come and share the beauty of Kyoto, savoring for yourself the meditative quality of “being” in a Japanese Garden.

“Just after arriving in Kyoto, on a bright September afternoon, I recall walking in a beautiful temple with an elderly Japanese man who suddenly stopped me and, pointing to the trees overhead, murmured ‘komorebi.’ Upon inquiry, I discovered that “komorebi” was a traditional Japanese word connoting the dappled sunlight that filters through the leaves of trees. That moment has always crystallized for me the poetry of the Japanese relationship to nature.” — Mark Hovane

Contact Mark