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Why Isuien Garden is special ?
Located north of the Nara national museum the Isueien garden is the only Japanese garden of it’s kind in the ancient capital city of Nara. The garden which represents the acme of garden engineering of the Meiji Period (1868-1912).
With an area of 13,481m2 the gardens consists of the front in the west side of the entrance and back yard to the east of the porch. It is a unique combination of two promenade-type gardens of distinctly different characteristics.
The gardens has very nice designed walking paths, impressive moss ‘carpets’, well maintained outdoor bonsai and an impressive borrowed scenery, by using the sights of the Todaiji temple and mountains at the end of the garden.
What to explore at Isuien Garden?
Isuien Garden is actually two Japanese gardens that were joined together to form one larger garden. The garden behind (west of) the house (Hyoshintei) was completed in 1899. This garden was designed by Horitoku from the school of Urasenke, and built at the request of Tojiro Seki, a sucessful Nara businessman. This garden is a kaiyushiki teien (walking) style design that allows the visitor to easily walk through the garden and view it from many different angles. This garden has a central pond with two islands which feature sculptures of a crane and a tortoise. These animals symbolize longevity or a long life. The central island is connected to the rest of the garden by stepping stones. The pond, which represents water, is fed from the Yosiki river which flows just outside the garden walls.
How to get to Isuien Garden?
Isuien Garden is also located a 15 minute walk from Kintetsu Nara Station. From JR Nara Station, the garden can be reached by taking frequently departing buses bound for Aoyamajutaku or Kunimidai-hachichome to Oshiagecho bus stop (5 minutes, 190 yen, platform 5 or 6).
- One of the Finest Traditional Gardens in Japan
- Good for photographers
- A Beautiful Garden worth savoring
- Beautiful garden with the autumn leaves
- Paradise In The Middle Of Nara
Japan 〒630-8208 Nara-ken, Nara-shi, Suimonchō, 74
Tips for you
Not to be missed, especially if you've enjoyed some of the Kyoto gardens. Down the hill from Todaiji. In terms of must sees, I rank this just below the Kofukuji and Todaiji treasure houses (medieval Buddhist wooden sculptures) and above the Kasuga jina and certainly the Nara museum.
Gorgeous garden where you could get some lunch or tea (for a fee)