Three Most Beautiful Japanese Gardens

Gardens in Japan have their own style, personality. They are usually divided in three categories: Chaniwa (tea), Tsukiyama (hill), Karesansui (dry) Gardens and can be found in temples and palaces. Nowadays, though, many gardens were created near hotels, public facilities or in residences of public figures. You can find a garden in almost every city, though the following ones are considered the three most beautiful Japanese gardens on the whole island.

Kenrokuen Garden

photo by Daderot

Located in Kanazawa city, Kenrokuen was originally the outer garden of the Kanazawa Castle, home of the Maeda family and was closed to the public up until 1871. Its name, Kenrokuen comes from the 6 attributes of the garden, more precisely spaciousness, artificiality, seclusion, abundant water, panoramas and antiquity which, according to landscape theory, is the perfect garden.

Starting with a breathtaking view of the garden from its highest point, the four beautiful ponds surrounded by ancient trees and holy stone lanterns, pagodas, interesting bridges, tea houses old and new, a bronze statue (Meiji Monument) and a sacred hill (Seven Lucky Gods Hill), waterfall and fountain, the garden is indeed a unique place which emanates a mystical and magical glow.

Korakuen Garden

photo by 663highland

Located beside Okayam Castel, this 28 acre beautiful garden is the second of the three most amazing landscape gardens in Japan. Just as Kenrokuen, this garden was also constructed by a feudal lord in the 18th century and opened its doors to the public after 1884.

Korakuen, though not equipped with all 6 attributes of a perfect garden, offers other unique sights to see. Among the major attractions is the Sawanoike pond which hosts several small islands and is surrounded by streams, trees and a rice field sample. There are several tea houses throughout the garden; the most notable maybe is the Renchi-ken teahouse which was the feudal lord’s favorite. Plum and cherry trees, pavilions and ponds, a beautiful hill and not to mention the spacious green lawns make this garden a relaxing place to be.

Kairakuen Garden

The third garden, found in the city of Mito is the youngest of the three, having been built in 1842 and has been not only the entertaining center of the ruling lord’s family but also of the public. What distinguishes this garden, however, from the other two is its huge collection of ume or plum trees. There are more than 3000 trees of at least a hundred varieties. Thus, the garden is mostly visited during the months of February and March, when these trees are in bloom.

Kairakuen has also a bamboo grove, which is really unique with its tall, straight trees, a cedar forest and a traditional Japanese house, the Kobuntei, from which you can have a glimpse of the whole garden as well.

There are many gardens throughout the world with Japanese themes; however, none can top the original ones in Japan. Visiting this amazing country without a stroll in one of the three most beautiful Japanese gardens is a sin.

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