Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Yosuien Garden


Yosuien is a large stroll-type garden in the Wakanoura area in the south of Wakayama City.

It is considered one of only two major gardens known as "shioiri", that is to say, the large pond is seawater and fed directly by the sea. The other garden of this type is the Hamarikyu Garden in Tokyo.

The large pond covers about half of the gardens 33,000 square meters.

The most predominant vegetation are the pine trees although there are also some camellias, hydrangeas, and azaleas.

The garden makes good use of the "borrowed scenery" of nearby Mount Tenjin and Mount Takozushi.

A small island in the pond is home to a shrine for Inari and Benten. Reached via a shorter "taikobashi" and an unusual longer bridge with three arches.

The garden reminded me somewhat of Ohori Park in Fukuoka, which is unsurprising as both Ohori Park and Yosuien Garden are modeled on the classic West Lake in China.

The garden was built between 1818 and 1826 by Tokugawa Harutaka, the 10th lord of Kishu Domain.

It was used as a retreat by the daimyo and to entertain guests.

The oldest teahouse in Wakayama, Yosui-tei, built in 1821,  comprises 19 rooms and includes the jissaien tearoom for tea ceremonies.

Yosuien is somewhat unusual and well worth a visit, especially with the other attractions nearby like Tenmangu Shrine, Toshogu Shrine, and Kiimidera Temple.

The garden is open every day of the year. Inquire in advance for tours of Yosuitei Teahouse. The garden entry fee includes entrance to the Minato Goten palace.

Relocated to within the garden from its original site, Minato Goten Palace was the previous post in this series on Wakayama.

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