Shukkeien Garden

Located on the banks of the Ōta River sits the beautiful Shukkei-en Garden. This oasis of peace and tranquility was splendidly laid out by Asano Nagaakira of Kyoto in 1620 in imitation of the famous landscaped garden on the Western Lake of the old South Chinese Sung Dynasty capital of Hangzhou.

For those looking for something unrelated to the tragedies of the past, Shukkei-en is your salvation. Dating back to 1620, the “shrunken-scenery garden” is home to several carefully crafted mini-landscapes. The gardens beautifully mimic natural formations such as mountains, valleys, and forests. For the weary traveller there are also a few tea houses around the garden’s main pond for a chance to unwind.

Once the home of Emperor Meiji, the gardens opened to the public after being donated to the city in 1940. Despite heavy damage from the nuclear attack of 1945, the gardens reopened in all their former glory in 1951.

A highlight of a visit is simply walking its many garden trails and traversing its bridges while enjoying the abundance of pools and streams, which draw their water from the Ōta.

For a truly memorable experience, opt to join in one of the authentic tea ceremonies offered at the on-site teahouses. Alternatively, drop into the Sensui-tei teashop for a soothing tea (or coffee) and sweet treat – an even better experience during the spring blossoms or fall colors.

 

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