Shōmyō-ji  (称名寺)

The Shōmyō-ji is a Buddhist temple of the Shingon school of Buddhism in Yokohama, Kanagawa-Ken. It was founded in the Kamakura period (1185-1333) as a family temple of the Hojo clan, the powerholders of the Kamakura period. The garden is laid out as a Pure Land Paradise garden with a pond that symbolizes the ocean that devided birth and death. The red bridge connects the world of Buddha with the human world.

Good cherry blossom viewing spot!

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Directions

How to get there
From Yokohama station, take the Keikyu Main line from platform 1 towards Keikyu-Kurihama. Get off after 16 minutes and 2 stop at Kanazawabunko station. From there, walk 500m in eastern direction, then turn north and walk 100 meters to get to the temple.

Opening times
9am – 4pm, closed on Monday

Admission
Free

Address
Kanagawa-ken, Yokohama-shi, Kanazawa-ku, Kanazawachō, 212−1 称名寺金堂

Kōraku-en  (後楽園)

The Kōraku-en gardens are a large strolling garden with a meandering stream and belong to the Three Great Gardens in Japan. They have been built in 1700 (Edo period) by the lord of the Okayama area, Ikeda Tsunamasa. It took more than 13 years to finish the construction works. Although the park was used for the amusement of the daimyo family and their guests, regular people also were allowed to visit the gardens on special days.

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Directions

How to get there
From Okayama station, take the tram towards Higashiyama (東山). After 3 stops, get off at Shiroshita (城下). From there, walk straight ahead for 350m and cross the bridge.

You can also take a bus to the gardens: From Okayama station, go to bus terminal 4 and take the bus headed for Fujiwara Danchi.

Opening times
March 20 – September: 7:30am – 6pm.
October – March 19: 8am – 5pm

Admission
400 yen
An audio guide is available for 500 yen.

Address
〒703-8257, 岡山県岡山市北区後楽園1-5
Korakuen 1-5, Kita-ku, Okayama City 703-8257

Shinjuku Gyoen  (新宿御苑)

Surprisingly, Shinjuku Gyoen has one of the most beautiful Japanese gardens in Tokyo. It is a vast park and has different garden sections: a Japanese garden with two ponds connected by a small river, a formal French garden with roses en masse and an English Landscape garden.

The park used to be the residence of the Naitō daimyō clan and was built in the Edo period (1603-1868). In the Meiji period (1868-1912), the Imperial Household Agency took over the garden and remodeled it for the imperial family in 1906. It was completely destroyed in the Second World War in 1945. In 1949, the gardens were opened to the public for the first time.

Especially in spring, between end of March and end of April, the Japanese garden is worth a visit when more than 1500 cherry trees turn the landscapes in all shades of white and pink. The perfectly round trimmed azaleas shine in a bright pink and purple in May and June. There is also a Japanese tea house with a marvellous view of the pond, surrounded by a tree panorama that manages to screen out Tokyo’s modern buildings.

Contents:
Introduction
History
Buildings
Gardens
Anikas Impressions
Around Shinjuku Gyoen

17 pages full of information about the Shinjuku Gyoen
33 pictures of the gardens

PDF 22MB
mobi 19MB

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Directions

How to get there
You can get to the park by either walking in a westward direction from Shinjuku Station or Yoyogi Station or take the Marunouchi line to Shinjuku-Gyoen-Mae station (新宿御苑前). Another subway station close by is Shinjuku San-chome (新宿三丁目), served by Marunouchi line, Shinjuku line and Fukutoshin line.

Admission
500 yen

Opening times
10/1 – 3/14 9:00am to 4:00pm (closes at 4:30)
3/15 – 9/30 9:00am to 5:30pm (closes at 6:00)
7/1 – 8/20 9:00am to 6:30pm (closes at 7:00)
Closed on Mondays and between December 29th and January 3rd

Tel
+81-(0)3-3350-0151 

Address
11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo