Sunday, February 14, 2021

Shohinken Teahouse & Garden



Shohinken is an Edo-period garden and teahouse not far from Yatsushiro Castle in the south of Kumamoto.


It was built in 1688 by Naoyuko Matsui, the third Matsui Daimyo of the domain, for his mother. I believe the site was originally a temple md the basis of the garden may have already been in existence.


It is sometimes known as Hama no Chaya, "Beach Tea"house", as it was adjacent to the beack of the tidal Kuma River, though now it is more than 1K from the river.


A large part of the 9,000 sq m garden is a large pond with small bridges and stepping stones.. In 2002 it was registered as a National Scenic Spot.


There are many planters in the pond and they come alive in early summer when thousands of Irises bloom. There are also lillies and lotus plants. The shoin-style teahouse is unusual in that it has two floors. I am pretty sure the glass was added in the early Meiji Period.


Under normal circumstance the main building cannot be entered, but there is a small museum attached with tea ceremony articles and other artifacts connected to the matsui Clan.

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