Nine different walled gardens in one next to Himeji Castle
Kokoen is a Japanese garden located next to Himeji Castle. It is made up of nine separate walled gardens designed in various styles reflective of Edo-period architecture. The gardens were opened in 1992 to commemorate the centenary of Himeji City.
How to Get There
You can reach the garden on foot from Himeji Castle or Himeji Station. Kokoen is next to Himeji Castle, just a short walk from the castle’s main gate. The garden is a 20-minute walk or five-minute bus ride from Himeji Station.
Different gardens in Kokoen
Kokoen is built on the former site of the west residence of Himeji Castle’s daimyo lord. There are nine different gardens within Kokoen, including the Garden with a Hill and Pond, Tea Ceremony Garden, Garden of Pine Trees, Garden of Bamboo, and Garden of Flowers. The gardens are designed to reflect the best of japan‘s four seasons.
The architecture of Kokoen
Kokoen has the magnificent Himeji Castle as its backdrop. The gardens are built in the style of the Edo period (1603-1867) matching the architecture of Himeji Castle, and are complete with a Tsuji-bei wall—a mud wall with a tiled roof—and Yashikimon and Nagayamon gates.
Kokoen is a unique and enchanting place that offers visitors a glimpse into the beauty of traditional Japanese gardens. Each of the nine gardens within Kokoen has its own distinct character and charm, making it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Japanese culture and history.
One of the highlights of Kokoen is the Garden with a Hill and Pond. This garden features a small hill covered in moss and dotted with cherry blossom trees, creating a serene and picturesque setting. The pond in the center of the garden is home to several carp and is surrounded by carefully manicured shrubs and trees.
Another notable garden within Kokoen is the Tea Ceremony Garden. This garden is designed to replicate the traditional tea ceremony experience and features a small tea house where visitors can participate in a traditional tea ceremony. The garden is adorned with carefully placed stones, lanterns, and bamboo fences, creating a tranquil and authentic atmosphere.
The Garden of Pine Trees is another must-see within Kokoen. This garden is filled with majestic pine trees that have been carefully pruned and shaped over the years. The trees create a sense of harmony and balance within the garden, and their branches provide shade and shelter for visitors.
The Garden of Bamboo is a unique and captivating part of Kokoen. This garden is filled with different varieties of bamboo, creating a mesmerizing and calming atmosphere. The bamboo stalks sway gently in the breeze, creating a sense of tranquility and peace.
The Garden of Flowers is a vibrant and colorful part of Kokoen. This garden is filled with a variety of seasonal flowers, including cherry blossoms in the spring and chrysanthemums in the fall. The flowers add a touch of beauty and elegance to the garden, and their fragrance fills the air.
Each of the nine gardens within Kokoen is meticulously maintained and cared for by a team of dedicated gardeners. The gardeners work tirelessly to ensure that every plant and tree thrives and that the gardens remain in pristine condition throughout the year. Their attention to detail and love for their craft is evident in every aspect of Kokoen.
In addition to the stunning gardens, Kokoen also offers visitors the opportunity to learn about Japanese culture and history. The garden features several exhibits and displays that provide insight into the Edo period and the traditions and customs of the time. Visitors can learn about the art of tea ceremony, traditional Japanese architecture, and the significance of nature in Japanese culture.
Kokoen is not only a place of beauty and tranquility, but it is also a place of education and enlightenment. Visitors can immerse themselves in the rich history and culture of Japan while enjoying the serene and peaceful surroundings of the gardens.
Visiting Kokoen is like stepping back in time and experiencing the beauty and elegance of traditional Japan. The gardens provide a sense of calm and serenity, allowing visitors to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and find peace in the beauty of nature.
Whether you are a nature lover, a history buff, or simply someone looking for a peaceful and tranquil escape, Kokoen is the perfect destination. The gardens offer a unique and enchanting experience that will leave you with lasting memories and a deep appreciation for the beauty and harmony of Japanese culture.
Address And Maps Location:
68 Hon-machi, Himeji-shi, Hyogo-ken