Aoi-den and Kasui-en(葵殿 佳水園)

Both gardens are now on the ground of the Westin Hotel Kyoto. Visitors can enter before sunset for free. “Aoiden” was built by the garden master Ogawa Jihei (7th generation). It is a stroll garden that utilizes land features and enables the water from the Biwako River to drop into a waterfall basin 15 meters below. “Kasuien” was built by his eldest son Hakuyo.

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Directions

How to get there
Take Kyoto city bus number 5 from Kyoto station towards Yagura-soshajo-mae (岩倉操車場前). After 11 stops and around 30 minutes, get off at Jingu-dori (神宮道). After getting off the bus, walk 5 minutes in direction of traffic.

Address
京都市東山区三条けあげ
Kyoto-shi, Higashiyama-ku, Keage, Sanjo
Gardens

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 30: 7:30am – 6pm.
October 1 – March 19: 8am – 5pm

Admission
410 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
Gardens

Kairaku-en(偕楽園)

Kairaku-en is a large strolling garden in Mito-Shi, Ibaraki-Ken. It was built by Tokugawa Nariaki in the year 1841 for the enjoyment of normal people of the area. The garden belongs to the Three Great Gardens of Japan. The best season to visit the garden is in early spring, when the plum trees start to bloom.

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Directions

How to get there
The garden belongs to Mito-city. From Ueno station in Tokyo, you can take the JR Hitachi line ‘Fresh Hitachi’ towards Katsuta or ‘Super Hitachi’ towards Iwaki (platform 16/17). After one hour and about 10 minutes, get off at Mito (水戸). From the station, walk two kilometers in western direction, take a taxi or the bus to get to Kairakuen.

Opening times
Mid February – September 30: 6am – 7pm
October 1 – Mid February: 7am – 6pm

Admission
– free
– During Plum Blossom festival 300 Yen
– Kobutei 200 Yen (Closing 5pm in summer, 4:30pm in winter/
Closed Dec. 29 – Jan. 3)

Address
〒310-0912 水戸市見川1-1251偕楽園公園
Mito-shi Migawa 1-1251 Kairakuen-Koen

Gardens

Zuisen-ji (Flower Temple)(瑞泉寺 (花寺))

Zuisen-ji is a small temple hidden away in the eastern mountains of Kamakura. The temple’s nickname is ‘flower temple’ and its flower garden in the front of the temple is the most beautiful in Kamakura. It is a branch of the Engaku-ji temple in Kita-Kamakura. Zen priest, poet and garden designer Musō Soseki founded the temple with the support of Nikaidō Dōun, a powerful lord of the Yamanashi area in 1327.

After walking up the steep way to the temple, you can enjoy a breathtaking outlook on the surrounding mountains while resting under a wisteria arbor. This spot is especially famous in autumn when the mountain forests turn a bright yellow, orange and red. The garden seems enchanted – it has lots of gnarled, moss covered trees, overgrowing flowering shrubs and scattered perennials that partially cover old stone lanterns and garden stones.

The rock zen garden in the back was created by its founder and garden designer Musō Soseki. A cave and a pond with islands were carved from the rock of the mountains. Closed for the public, a steeply ascending passageway leads up to the to a meditation arbor and view point.

The temples mountain name (San-go 山号) is Kinpei-zan (錦屏山). The direct translation is Brocade-Wall-Mountain. Zuisen-ji received it because the near mountains around the temple (like a wall) glow bright like brocade in autumn, when the leaves change their colors.

Contents of the eBook
  • Introduction
  • Historical background – Fall of the Kamakura Shogunate and beginning of the Muromachi period
  • History of the temple
  • Musō Soseki
  • The temple and garden – Ichiran-tei, Zen rock garden, Yagura
  • Plants in the garden
  • Jenny’s impressions
  • Eating and Drinking
  • How to get there
  • Literature

14 pages
51 illustrations
27.4 MB

The eBook is delivered as PDF.

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Directions

How to get there
Zuisen-ji is located in the far east of Kamakura, rather distant from Kamakura Station.

On foot: It takes about 45-50 minutes to reach Zuisen-ji by foot from Kamakura Station or about 30 minutes from Hachimangu Shrine. The temple can also be reached via the attractive Tenen hiking trail which starts at Kencho-ji and leads through the wooded hills north of Kamakura in about 60-90 minutes.

By bus: The closest bus station to Zuisen-ji is located at Kamakura-gu Shrine. Take the bus 鎌20 towards Ōtō-nomiya 大塔宮 (鎌倉宮Kamakura-Gu ) from bus stop number 4. Get of at the last stop and walk from there about 10-15 minutes.

Opening times
9am – 5pm (last admission 4:30pm)

Admission
200 Yen

Address
EN: 710 Nikaidō, Kamakura, Kanagawa 248-0002
JP: 神奈川県鎌倉市二階堂710
Gardens

Tōfuku-ji - Garden of the Hōjō(東福寺)

Tōfuku-ji is one of the Five Great Zen temples in the Kyoto Mountain system. It is a temple complex in southern Kyoto with 24 sub-temples.

Its garden were redesigned by the scholar Mirei Shigemori in the 1930s. He had studied the traditional Japanese gardens for decades before starting to design gardens himself. He built his designs on the old garden design principles, and connected them to the contemporary Japanese design of that time. The result are impressive gardens like the four gardens of Tōfuku-ji that surround the hōjō, the former head priest’s quarters.

Another remarkable feature of this tempe is the big mountain gate (山門 – San-mon) to the south of the garden. It is the oldest San-mon in Japan. The temple was built in 1236 (Kamakura period), and the founding priest is Enni Ben’en, a Japanese priest that went to China to study Zen buddhism. He is also believed to have imported the Udon wheat noodles, until today one of the most popular dishes in Japan.

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Gardens

Directions

How to get there
Take the Nara line from Kyoto station towards Nara. Get off at the first stop, Tōfuku-ji, and walk in southern direction until you get to the temple.

Admission
– 500 Yen (Hojo and gardens)
– 600 Yen (Tsutenkyo Bridge and Kaisando Hall), 1000 Yen during Autumn season
– 1000 Yen Combi ticket garden and bridge (not during autumn season)

Opening Times
April – October: 9am – 4pm
November – first Sunday in December: 8:30am – 4pm
first Monday in December – to March: 9am – 3:30pm

Address
EN: 15-778 Honmachi Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto
JP: 〒605-0981 京都府京都市東山区本町15丁目778

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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Gardens

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

Shisen-dō(詩仙堂)

Shisen-dō is is a temple of the Sōtō school of Zen Buddhism. It was built in the early Edo period (1641) as a retirement villa for Ishikawa Jōzan. Ishikawa Jōzan was a poet and calligrapher.

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Directions

How to get there
The easiest way to get to Shisen-do is to take the Kyoto city bus number 5 from Kyoto station. It takes around 50 minutes and 25 bus stops to get there. Get off at Ichijoji Sagarimatsucho (一乗寺下り松町) and walk 4minutes in uphill in eastern direction.

Admission
500 Yen

Opening times
9:00am – 5:00pm
Gardens

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

22MB
The eBook is delivered as PDF.

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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
Gardens

Sengan-en(仙巌園)

Sengan-en was built as a second residence by Shimadzu Mitsuhisa, 19th head of the Shimadzu family, in 1658. The garden covers an area of approximately 50,000㎡ and is designated as meishō (名勝) – a national place of scenic beauty.

Sengan-en is perhaps best known for its use of shakkei (借景) borrowed scenery. Active volcano Sakurajima acts as a tsukiyama (築山), an artificial hill present in Japanese gardens, and Kinkō Bay forms the pond.

The residence was heavily influeneced by Chinese and Ryukyuan culture due to its location in the South of Japan. The Bōgakurō pavilion (望嶽楼) is constructed in Ryukyuan style, and was used to host important guests. The Kyokusui garden (曲水庭), used yearly for Kyokusui no En (曲水の宴) – a traditional poetry composition event, is based on Chinese culture.

The house, lived in by successive generations of the Shimadzu family (daimyo family in the Edo period), has regular guided tours and guests can enjoy the private inner garden while drinking matcha and eating a traditional Japanese sweet.

The area around Sengan-en was instrumental in the modernization of Japanese industry, and in July, 2015 Sengan-en and Shōko Shūseikan, now a museum and once Japan’s first factory, were recognized as World Cultural Heritage Sites related to Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution.

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Directions

How to get there
The garden can be reached by walking from Kagoshima Station. The walk takes about 40 minutes.

By bus
From Kagoshima Chuo Station (Kagoshima City View Bus, Machi Meguri Bus) 30 minutes by bus – get off at the Sengan-en Mae (仙巌園前) bus stop

From Kagoshima Station
(Nangoku Kotsu Bus, Iwasaki Bus) 10 minutes by bus – get off at the Sengan-en Mae (仙巌園前) bus stop

Address
JP: 鹿児島県鹿児島市吉野町9700-1 〒892-0871
EN: 9700-1 Yoshino-chō, Kagoshima City, Japan 892-0871

Opening hours
8:30am – 17:30pm (All year round)

Admission
1000 Yen (+600 Yen for guided tour through the house)
Gardens

Sankei-en(三溪園)

This beautiful landscape garden in Yokohama is one of Japan’s youngest gardens. Construction works began in 1902 and it was opened to the public in 1906. The founder of the garden, Sankei Hara, a silk trader from Yokohama, has collected numerous buildings from all over Japan. Japanese buildings can often be dismantled and put together in another place. This is what Sankei did to preserve these historically significant buildings.

The garden has several ponds and streams. In the outer garden, next to the main pond, the Main Hall and three-storied pagoda of Tōmyō-ji temple in Kyoto have been rebuilt.

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Directions

How to get there
From the Yokohama main station, take bus number 8 towards Honmoku-Shako (本牧車庫) and get off at Honmoku-Sankei-en-mae. From there, walking in south western direction, follow the signs toward the park entrance.

Address
58-1 Honmokusannotani, Naka Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture

Admission
700 yen

Openting times
9am – 5pm (last entrance 30 before closing time)
Not open between December 29th and 31st.
Gardens