From the lands of a ruling clan to the home of a mid-level samurai
When exploring the historical and cultural sites of japan, one cannot miss the opportunity to visit Kikko Park in Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture. This park is not only known for its beautiful scenery and natural beauty, but also for its rich history and connection to the ruling clans and samurai of feudal Japan.
One of the main attractions of Kikko Park is the former residence of the Yoshikawa family, the lords of the Iwakuni domain. This residence, which dates back to the Edo period (1603-1867), still retains several traditional buildings that were built while the Yoshikawa clan ruled over the area. These buildings provide a glimpse into the lifestyle and architecture of the ruling class during this time period. Visitors can explore the various rooms and gardens of the residence, immersing themselves in the history and culture of the Yoshikawa family.
Another significant site within Kikko Park is the former residence of the Mekata family. Unlike the Yoshikawa residence, which belonged to the ruling clan, the Mekata residence belonged to a mid-level samurai family. This residence offers a different perspective on feudal society, showcasing the lives of the samurai who served under the ruling class. The modest size and design of the Mekata residence reflect the status and lifestyle of mid-level samurai during this time period.
One of the standout features of Kikko Park is Kinunkaku, a striking building with a fluted roof. This building served as a reception hall for the Yoshikawa family and was used for important ceremonies and events. Its unique architectural style and intricate detailing make it a must-see attraction within the park.
In addition to the historical buildings, Kikko Park is also home to Kikko-jinja Shrine, an Important Cultural Property. This shrine, dedicated to the gods of the land and sea, has been a place of worship for centuries. Its tranquil atmosphere and beautiful architecture make it a peaceful retreat within the park.
To reach Kikko Park, visitors have several transportation options. If coming from Hiroshima, one can take the JR Sanyo Shinkansen to Shin-Iwakuni Station, followed by a bus or taxi to the park. Alternatively, a local train from Hiroshima to Iwakuni Station on the JR Sanyo Main Line is also available. From Yamaguchi, the JR Sanyo Shinkansen from Shin-Yamaguchi Station to Shin-Iwakuni Station is the most convenient option. If arriving by air at Iwakuni Kintaikyo Airport from Haneda Airport, taxis and buses are available for transportation to the park.
Upon arrival at Kikko Park, visitors will be greeted by the sight of ancient trees that have stood for centuries. These trees, many of which were planted during the Edo period, tower over the park and provide shade and beauty to the surroundings. Some of these trees reach heights of over 20 meters, showcasing their age and resilience.
One of the most iconic trees in Kikko Park is a striking fir tree that stands behind Kinunkaku. This majestic tree adds to the grandeur and beauty of the park, creating a picturesque scene that is reminiscent of traditional Japanese landscapes.
However, it is not only the trees that add color and vibrancy to Kikko Park. Throughout the year, various flowers bloom in the park, painting it with different hues and fragrances. In late February to early March, plum blossoms take center stage, covering the park in delicate pink and white petals. April is the best time to see the park’s famous cherry blossoms, as they create a stunning display of pink and white flowers. Other flowers to admire include pink azaleas in April to May, indigo irises in June, and blue and purple hydrangeas in July.
The changing seasons bring different experiences and sights to Kikko Park, making it a destination worth visiting throughout the year. Whether it is the serene beauty of the plum blossoms in spring or the vibrant colors of the hydrangeas in summer, each season offers a unique and captivating atmosphere.
It is important to note that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the information and accessibility of Kikko Park may be subject to change. It is advisable to check the latest updates and guidelines before planning a visit to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
In conclusion, Kikko Park in Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture, is a treasure trove of history, culture, and natural beauty. From the former residence of the Yoshikawa family to the modest home of the Mekata family, visitors can immerse themselves in the world of feudal Japan and gain a deeper understanding of the lives of the ruling clans and samurai. The park’s ancient trees and vibrant flowers add to its allure, creating a serene and picturesque setting. Whether one is a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, Kikko Park offers something for everyone. So, make sure to add this remarkable destination to your itinerary and embark on a journey through time and beauty.
Address And Maps Location:
2-6-51 Yokoyama, Iwakuni-shi, Yamaguchi-ken