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Japanese gardens to rival Kyoto's

Far from the tourist trail, Shimane prefecture fosters unique landscaping traditions

A round "usu-ishi (millstone)," in the foreground, is often used as a steppingstone in an Izumo-Ryu garden, like this one at the Itohara Memorial Museum in Shimane Prefecture.

OKUIZUMO, Japan -- The Adachi Museum of Art in Japan's western prefecture of Shimane is little-known, but its garden is something of a superstar -- at least among aficionados of traditional landscaping.

For 16 years running, it has been named the most beautiful Japanese garden by Sukiya Living, a U.S. publication also known as The Journal of Japanese Gardening. Thanks in part to this distinction, the 165,300-sq.-meter grounds attract a steady stream of visitors.

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