Japanese gardens to visit at least once in a life: part 2

Welcome to the second part of our journey around Japanese must see gardens. If you missed the first part you can click here.


Suizenji garden is located in Kumamoto City in the Kyushu region within a park also named Suizenji. It is a well-kept garden and a perfect example of tsukiyama style, a garden built on hills. The construction dates back to the first half of 1600 and the garden was especially designed as a refuge for drinking tea made using the spring waters that flow into the garden ponds and which are considered particularly pure and clean. The garden reproduces in miniature the 53 post stations that in the Edo period were located along the road that connected the current cities of Tokyo and Kyoto. One of the views that leave visitors speechless is the hill reproducing Mount Fuji, absolutely perfect.

The park is open from March to October from 7.30 to 18.00 and from 8.30 to 17.00 from November to February.

Admission is 400 yen.

 Official site (in Japanese)

Get to the park by tram from JR Kumamoto Station, get off at Suzenji Koen, the trip takes 30 minutes.


Shukkeien garden is located in Hiroshima and its construction dates back to 1600 when the daimyo of the region, the head of the Asano family, brought an architect  especially from Kyoto. The garden was opened the public in the early ‘900 and was heavily damaged during World War II when it also became a refuge for victims of the conflict. Restored, it has been reopened to the public in 1951.

The garden reproduces various scenarios of Japanese nature, isolated valleys, hills and rivers linked together by a path that allows the visitor to fully enjoy all the landscapes skillfully positioned around elegant bridges.

The garden is open all year round, from 9:00 to 17:00 from October to March and from 9:00 to 18:00 from April to September.

The entrance fee is 250 yen for adults and 150 for children.

 Official site (in Japanese)

It can be easily reached with a 15 minutes walk from Hiroshima central station.


Komyozenji is a temple that is located just outside Fukuoka founded in 1270 by the monks of the Zen Buddhism. Inside the temple you can see one of the best kept secrets of Fukuoka, two incomparable Zen gardens, a smaller one in the front and a larger one behind the temple.

These are some of the oldest rock gardens of Japan. The rocks of the smaller garden are arranged to form the character hikari meaning light.

As you enter the garden the outside world simply cease to exist, you will be surrounded by peace and silence and only feel like contemplating the breathtaking landscape.

In the largest garden it is possible to admire the pure traditional style zen garden with seas and rivers formed by white pebbles and mountains and hills formed by moss arranged with care and elegance.

The garden is open from 8.00 to 17.00

The entrance fee is 300 yen.

 Here you can download a map of the city

To reach the temple Komyozenji from Fukuoka center takes just 25 minutes. From the train station Nishitetsu Fukuoka (Tenjin) take the train to Nishitetsu Fukuokaichi and once there change train and take the Daizafu Line, in 5 minutes you will be in Daizafu station from which you can easily reach the temple in just a few minutes walk.

Inokashira Park

Finally let me recommend a park in Tokyo that is a bit off the beaten tourist track that is much frequented by the Japanese. In my opinion it is really worth a visit, it is Inokashira park. It is a less formal place, so to speak, and it is located in the Mitaka district.

It is particularly popular and crowded during cherry blossom season when the branches full of flowers are reflecting in the lake and touching upon the surface.

Throughout the year it is very popular especially on Sunday when there is a  flea market that attracts many Japanese. If you go with your partner and you are superstitious, I recommend you not to ride the little boats for rent on the lake as is it said that couples who tread the waters of the lake will break up soon.

You will also be pleased to know that this is also the park which houses the Museum of Studio Ghibli and it is well suited for a nice stop after visiting the museum.

Always open

Admission is free

 Official site (in Japanese)

The park can be reached by train, get off at the Keio Line Inokashira Station.

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