Gardens

Some of Japan’s most beautiful gardens

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Adachi Museum of Art

The Adachi Museum of Art in Matsue was founded by Adachi Zenko in 1980 in order to combine his passions for Japanese art and garden design. He hoped that viewing the gardens and artwork together would foster appreciation and interest in Japanese art. The museum is now best known for its award winning garden, which…

Type: Gardens  |  Category: West Japan  |  Tags: , ,

Hamarikyu Gardens

Backed by skyscrapers and cloaked in green, Hama Rikyū Teien Garden is a peaceful oasis within Tokyo’s metropolis. Once a Shogun’s villa, where feudal lords hunted ducks in the tidal waterways, the garden was opened to the public in 1948 and features tidal ponds, plum groves, and a peony garden. We highly recommend stopping for…

Type: Gardens  |  Category: Tokyo  |  Tags: ,

Imperial Palace Gardens

Immaculately manicured, the Imperial Palace Gardens house Edo castle’s ruined keep, and are a wonderfully calm place within the hustle and bustle of the capital. The Japanese style gardens provide a wonderful taste of what the county has to offer. *Though the Imperial Palace East Gardens are open to the public, special permission is required…

Type: Gardens  |  Category: Tokyo  |  Tags: , , ,

Isuien Gardens

Isuien is a very pretty Japanese garden close to Todaiji Temple. Isuien means “Garden founded on water”, and its name is came about because its ponds are fed by the Yoshikigawa River, which runs nearby. The garden is divided into two parts; Front & Rear, with several tea houses found in both parts. The front…

Type: Gardens  |  Category: Kansai  |  Tags: ,

Katsura Villa

One of Japan’s most important cultural treasures, the Katsura Imperial Villa is considered to be one of the greatest examples of classical Japanese architecture, and its minimalist designs have inspired many Western architects. Completed in 1631, the Palace lies in Kyoto’s western suburbs, and the gardens are a masterpiece of traditional garden design. Today, the…

Type: Gardens  |  Category: Kyoto  |  Tags: , ,

Kenrokuen Gardens

Listed as one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan, Kenroku-en is often said to be the best of the three. Founded in the Edo period, and opened to the public in 1871, the garden now features ponds, hills, and a number of buildings and tea houses. Kenroku-en famously combines all six principles traditionally…

Type: Gardens  |  Category: Central Japan  | 

Koishikawa Korakuen

Built in the Edo Period, Koishikawa Korakuen is one of Tokyo’s oldest and loveliest Japanese gardens. Like most traditional Japanese gardens, Koishikawa Korakuen reproduces famous landscapes in miniature, using ponds, stones, trees, and manmade hills to copy both Japanese and Chinese scenes. A network of walking trails lead around to prescribed viewpoints from which visitors…

Type: Gardens  |  Category: Tokyo  |  Tags: ,

Korakuen Gardens

One of the three most famous gardens in Japan (the others being Kairaku-en in Mito and Kenroku-en in Kanazawa), Koraku-en looks very much now as it did on its completion in 1700. Open to the public since 1884, Koraku-en is full of gorgeous views, green lawns (a surprising and unusual feature in traditional Japanese gardens),…

Type: Gardens  |  Category: Central Japan  |  Tags: ,

Kyoto Prefectural Botanical Garden

Measuring over 240,000 square meters and filled with over 12,000 different varieties of plantlife, Kyoto Prefectural Botanical Garden is considered Japan’s premier botanical garden. Originally built as part of an exhibition for the coronation of Emperor Taisho in 1913 but not completed until 1923 due to lack of funding, Kyoto’s botanical gardens were the first…

Type: Gardens  |  Category: Kyoto  |  Tags: , , ,

Rikugien

Built around 1700, Rikugien is often considered Tokyo’s most beautiful Japanese landscape garden alongside Koishikawa Korakuen. The garden is a good example of an Edo Period strolling garden and features a large central pond surrounded by man-made hills and forested areas, all connected by a network of trails. Rikugien is quite spacious, and it takes…

Type: Gardens  |  Category: Tokyo  |  Tags: , , ,

Ritsurin

Ritsurin Park in Takamatsu is one of the largest in Japan, covering an impressive 75 acres. Built in the early Edo period and originally named for its chestnut trees, Ritsurin is now dominated by beautifully sculpted pines, which cover the tsukiyama, or artificial hills, and the banks of the many ponds, both large and small,…

Type: Gardens  |  Category: Shikoku  |  Tags: , , , ,

Shinjuku Gyoen

Melding traditional Japanese, French, and English landscaping, Shinjuku Gyoen’s 2000 trees make for a peaceful green space within Tokyo, particularly as they are backed by bustling Shinjuku’s skyscrapers. The garden – once designated as an Imperial Garden and only opened to the public after the Second World War – is wonderful place to stroll amidst…

Type: Gardens  |  Category: Tokyo  |  Tags: ,

Shukkei-en Gardens

Shukkei-en’s name roughly translates into English as “shrunken-scenery garden”, which succinctly describes the garden itself; natural features such as mountains, forests and valleys are shown in miniature in the garden’s landscapes. Through careful cultivation, the garden mimics a variety of natural scenic views. The garden’s history dates back to 1620, soon after the completion of…

Type: Gardens  |  Category: West Japan  |  Tags:

Ueno Park

Ueno Park, best known for its popularity as a cherry viewing spot, is in a way the cultural heart of Tokyo – nowhere else can rival the sheer number of museums. Ueno’s gems are the Tokyo National Museum, the National Science Museum, the National Museum of Western Art, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, and the…

Type: Gardens  |  Category: Tokyo  |  Tags: , , ,

Yoyogi Park

Opened in 1967, Yoyogi Park is one of the largest of Tokyo‘s parks. Forming a buffer between Harajuku and the Meji Jingu Shrine, Yoyogi Park is an exciting place to see modern Japanese youth culture on the weekends.

Type: Gardens  |  Category: Tokyo  |  Tags: , , ,