Three Small Japanese gardens in Nara
Yoshiki-en is a little Japanese garden in Nara. Close to the great touristic temples of the city, this green oasis is a beautiful haven of peace and a privileged place for the traditional tea ceremony.
Yoshiki garden’s name derives from the small creek streaming on its side. According to the site’s archives, Yoshiki-en’s estate initially belonged to the Manishu-in temple which was affiliated to the Kofuku-ji, Nara’s second great temple. It extended to the gates of the Todai-ji and to Kasuga Taisha shrine.
After the Meiji restoration in 1868, as the government implements an anti-Buddhist policy, most of the Kofuku-ji’s properties were confiscated and Manishu-in became a private estate. The current buildings were build in 1919 and their ownership rights were transferred to Nara City.
Landscapes to enhance the tea ceremony
Yoshiki-en is opened to the public as a garden to admire but also a stage for the tea ceremony. It is even possible to book the tea house’s room for private traditional events.
The site is home to 3 types of Japanese gardens, offering the following views:
- A pond garden, where the main traditional pavilion for Japanese tea ceremonies stands;
- A moss garden, that can be viewed from a small tea house;
- A garden of flowers for the tea ceremony, which, as its names indicates, is used to grow plants that will be displayed in flower compositions during the ceremonies.
A free, confidential visit
The times around the opening and closing hours are the best to make sure avoiding any visitor in the alleys, except for a few passionate Japanese photographers who try to make the most of the beautiful sunlight. Note than admission to the Yoshiki-en is free for foreign tourists upon showing their passport.
You can also discover the neighboring Isui-en, another Japanese garden with an unobstructed view on Mount Wakakusa.