Ritsurin Garden, Shinkoku, Japan

This post contains 10 beautiful pictures of the Ritsurin Garden.

It was raining hard when we reached the garden.

The super typhoon Neoguri has just passed us by, heading towards Osaka and Tokyo.CIMG5534A

The rain was pouring and some of us decided not to walk the garden. For a moment, I hesitated too, as I may be unable to take  pictures in the rain.

But the garden was so attractive that I just couldn’t resist getting into it.CIMG5552

Ritsurin Garden (栗林公園 Ritsurin Kōen, lit. chestnut grove garden) is one of the most famous historical gardens in Japan. The garden is situated in the city of Takamatsu and is considered one of its main attractions.CIMG5572

It is a Daimyo’s garden, a garden that was designated as a special beauty spot in Japan in March 1953.

It is the largest, representative “Kaiyushiki-teien” (landscape garden designated for strolling through).CIMG5549

The garden has many lotus and water lilies, but unfortunately, most of the flowers were deformed by the heavy rain.CIMG5533

The garden contains a tea house, various folk art and craft exhibits (including the Sanuki Folk Craft Museum), as well as various folk art and craft items for sale.CIMG5562

We stopped by the teahouse and had a delightful bowl of green tea with a chest nut cake as dessert.

A tour through the garden generally takes one to two hours. There are various bridges, footpaths and small hills which offer a beautiful view of the garden and the surrounding scenery, most notably Mt. Shiun (紫雲山 Shiun-zan?) at the western border of the garden.CIMG5539

There are many scenes of pines and other trees dripping down to the water- something which I am not tired of photographing.CIMG5564

Have seen many bridges on this trip to Shikoku, this timber arch bridge in the garden is a view not to be missed. Even in the rain, there are tourists standing on the bridge with their umbrellas.CIMG5557

In some locations, we have to cross the streams.

I was happy to step on the flat stepping stones while watching the color pebbles and the water flowing past. They seem more like a work of art to me.CIMG5567

So, this is just another walk in paradise!


82 thoughts on “Ritsurin Garden, Shinkoku, Japan

  1. Im glad you stopped to take these pictures. Absolutely exquisite! Such symmetry, its so relaxing just to look at these. What beauty, I’m putting this garden on my Japan to do list!

  2. Glad you decided to visit Ritsurin Garden despite the rain.
    It is stunning all year long and regardless of the weather.

    • Everything including gardens of the Sung Dynasty had great influence on the art / culture of Japan which they have further developed.
      The Suzhou gardens are one of the best gardens and I am sure it has a lot of influence on them too.
      In one of my post, I talked about the six attributes of gardens which the Japanese has adopted, these principles were originated from China.

  3. I’m a tree fan and those beautifully cared for pines really show how much they are cared for. Almost like bonsai only on a larger scale. Really nice shots of the garden, I’ve enjoyed seeing them, thank you.

  4. wow! i love the pictures and the place! i always dreamed to go and visit Japan…hope i could visit that place too…the place and the nature itself is very relaxing!

  5. I think of the many Japanese (as well as Korean and Chinese) prints and paintings that include rain and clouds a part of the landscape. Islands cannot escape rain, especially with major storms. Watch your step on those rocks.

    • The stepping stones are beautiful – I found out just yesterday, they are featured on Wikipedia! Think my image is better with the running water 🙂

    • Yes, I checked it out … and there are no tours neither to the garden from neither Kyoto or Hiroshima. What a pity. Did you travel independently????

    • What we did was to take China (Taiwan) Airlines from HK to Taipei, transit there to Takamatsu (in Shinkoku), from there we went on to visit the Ritsurin garde, the shrine and Hiroshima. The fare of the flight could be quite competitive. At first, I have some reservation on taking the China Airline – but was impressed by some of their new planes and service. Also, they were among the first to divert their flight from Ukraine. Of course, don’t take Malaysia Airline! Alternatively, you can land at Osaka, but still I think it is a bit far.

    • I checked out HK Express airlines around 1250 HK$ for a single fare. I was looking at flying SAS to Hong Kong first and had meant I had been changing to China Air in Beijing to HK. Now I fly Finnair all the way from CPH. It would have been great fly China Airlines.

  6. Thank you for sharing these, Michael. I want to cycle from Onimichi across the bridges to Shikoku next time we go to Japan. Now I want to add Ritsurin Garden! Maybe we will need to stay overnight on Shikoku so we can explore.

    I think Japanese garden design is clever, it seems to incorporate the beauty of weather, too, somehow. We visited Kinkakuji in Kyoto in the rain – it was very wet, but the view across the mirror pond to the pavilion was lovely even in the rain.

    I saw from another post that you were also in Hiroshima, my favourite Japanese city. Did you visit Shukkeien Koen? This is a miniature stroll garden and very restful. Your pictures here reminded me oif it.

    • Hi Mrs. Hicks, the Japanese gardens are just lovely. I am sure you will enjoy your cycle trips too. Have never been to Shukkeien Koen, it seems to be a miniature stroll garden with the essential ingredients. I’ll go there if I stop by Hiroshima next time. Regards, Michael

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