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Published on 04.27.2016
Exhibiting the beauty and culture of classical Japan over a 170,000 square kilometre area, Sankeien Garden comprises of inner and outer gardens, while abundant in historically significant buildings. Initially a private property, the garden first opened its doors to public in 1906. This is a place where one can feel the spirit Kyoto- but, on the east coast of Japan, in the city of Yokahama, and this is for a good reason.
Sankeien named so for featuring three beautiful glens was built by Tomitaro Hara (born as Tomitaro Aoki) (1869-1939). Tomitaro Hara was a wealthy silk merchant who had deep love for his country’s art and culture. He bought buildings from all over the country, from places such as Kyoto and Kamakaru, and had them re-assembled in Sankeien Garden. In total there are 17 buildings, of which 10 have been declared as Important Cultural Property by the Japanese government.
Coming from different parts of the country, every building has its own unique history and aesthetic beauty. Here are some of their background stories:
Juto Oido Old Tenzuji: built in 1591 by Hideyoshi Toyotomi, who was a famous shogun of his time, this is a building dedicated to his mother. Inside, there is a stone monument wishing his mother good health and long life. Originally from Kyoto, the building was moved to Sankeien Garden in 1905.
Old Yanohara House: built in 1750 and coming from Gifu Prefecture, this building moved to Sankeien in 1960 due to building of a new damn in its place of origin that would have submerged the building.
Rinshukaku: this building hails from Wakayama Prefecture and was the residence of Tokugawa Family (who were the ruling clan in Japan 1603-1867). It was moved in 1917.
Kakushokaku: unlike the others, this was built by Tomitara Hara himself in 1920, and served as his private residence. Here he would welcome important guests such as cultural and political figures from around the world.
In addition to the historical buildings, Sankeien displays an all-year-round picturesque vista. As seasons change, so does the garden, adapting to each season with scenic views one more captivating than the other. Thus, any time of the year is a good time to take tranquil and serene walk in the gardens.
During spring, from late March until early April, Japan’s most favourite flower blossoms providing pleasant hanami walks. In the summertime, in July and August, visitors can enjoy the vistas of thousands and thousands pink lotus blossoms floating on the pond. The winter season, from mid to late February, sees the white and soft pink ume (plum blossom) blooming to decorate the landscape, while the autumn season is when the garden trees take on all kinds of vibrant colours such as deep reds, golden yellows and bright greens.
Opening hours: 09:00-17:00 (Closed December 29-31)
Admission: General tickets ¥500, elementary school children ¥200
Address: 58-1, Honmoku Sannotani, Nakaku, Yokahama, 231-0825
Read more from Tomoko Kamishima: http://en.japantravel.com/profile/tomoko-kamishima/41
Music: 森のゆりかご/ Hirokazu Akiyama 秋山裕和 (Free BGM)
Source: Japan Travel