Shinjuku Gyoen – Illumination (新宿御苑ライトアップ) (Bilder/Pictures)

13. November 2019

Eine der schönsten Chrysanthemen-Ausstellungen Tōkyōs in nächtlicher Illumination
One of Tōkyō’s most beautiful chrysanthemum exhibitions in nocturnal illumination

Shinjuku Gyoen - Illumination (新宿御苑ライトアップ)

Shinjuku Gyoen – Illumination (新宿御苑ライトアップ)

Zum Anschauen einer bildschirmgroßen Diashow, bitte eine der obenstehenden Miniaturen anklicken.
Please click one of the miniatures above for a slide show in screen size.

→ Im Shinjuku Gyoen findet alljährlich während der ersten beiden Novemberwochen eine der schönsten Chrysanthemen-Ausstellungen Tōkyōs statt (weiterführende Links siehe unten). In diesem Jahr wurde der Park vom 8. November bis 13. November zusätzlich abends von 17:30 Uhr bis 19:30 Uhr erneut geöffnet (Zugang nur über den Shinjuku-Eingang) und im japanischen Gartenbereich, in dem sich die Chrysanthemen-Ausstellung befindet, illuminiert.

→ Every year during the first two week of November there is one of the most beautiful chrysanthemum exhibitions of Tōkyō in the Shinjuku Gyoen (for further information, please have a look a the links below). This year there was an additional attaction: From 8th November to 13th November the park was opened again from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm (entry only via the Shinjuku gate) and illuminated in the Japanese garden area where the chrysanthemum exhibition is located. 

Wie man hinkommt:

Dem Park am nächsten gelegen ist die Station Shinjuku Gyoenmae (新宿御苑前 / しんじゅくぎょえんまえ) der Marunouchi-Linie (丸ノ内線 / まるのうちせん) der Tōkyō Metro (東京メトロ / とうきょうメトロ). Aber der Park ist so riesig, dass er natürlich auch von anderen Bahn- und U-Bahnstationen leicht erreicht werden kann (eine Aufzählung würde den Rahmen sprechen).

How to get there:

Closest to the park is the station Shinjuku Gyoenmae (新宿御苑前 / しんじゅくぎょえんまえ) of the Marunouchi line (丸ノ内線 / まるのうちせん) of the Tōkyō Metro (東京メトロ / とうきょうメトル). But the park is that large that it can be easily accessed from quite a number of railway and subway stations (to name them all here would go a little beyond the scope of this entry).

Zusatzinformation:

Dies ist ein Artikel der “Ohne Worte / Non-Verbal”-Serie – für Näheres zu dieser Serie siehe in der Navigationsleiste unter “Ohne Worte / Non-Verbal“.

Additional Information:
This is a posting of theOhne Worte / Non-Verbalseries – for more details on this series, please have a look atOhne Worte / Non-Verbalon the navigation bar. 

→ Weitere Informationen zur Chrysanthemen-Ausstellung / further reading related to the Chrysanthemum Exhibition 

Chrysanthemen / Chrysanthemum Festival (Engl./dt.)
– Wenn sich der Shinjuku Gyoen besonders herausputzt
– When Shinjuku Gyoen is dressing up for the occasion

Shinjuku Gyoen: Chrysanthemen (新宿御苑観菊) (Bilder/Pictures)
– Wie immer im November: Die kaiserlichste aller Blüten
– As always in November: The most imperial of all flowers 

 


Tōkyō Olympics 2020 – it’s (almost) done

11. November 2019

Shortly before the new Olympic Stadium opens

Eine deutsche Version dieses Arikels finden Sie hier.
A German version of this posting you can find here.

It has been a while since I have reported on the progress of the new Olympic Stadium in Tōkyō – simply because building fences have prevented any acceptable view view of the construction site. Meanwhile, these high fences have disappeared and have made the area a bit more accessible. If you’re tall enough (which I’m not) or have a periscope or a camera that allows overhead photography, you’ll be fine. Otherwise, readers of “Ways to Japan” are always at an advantage anyway.

Tōkyō National Stadium (東京国立競技場) (6.11.2019)

Tōkyō National Stadium (東京国立競技場) (6.11.2019)

Today – as a purely illustrative material (still) without further information – I want to provide you with a look at the current state of the construction site. As you can easily see, the greening process is already well advanced. Here and there a final touch is needed to complete the equipment. And if you would like to recall how things have developped, please note the following articles:

Tōkyō Olympics 2020 vs. 1964 (国立競技場)
– Old grandiosity has to make way for the new one

Alea iacta est – Tōkyō Olympics 2020
– From the great void to the big lesson…

Tōkyō Olympics 2020 – something is moving!

Tōkyō Olympics 2020 – Apartments for the Athletes
– Where old wasteland provides space for a completely new district

Just next door, on 14th September 2019 the new “Japan Olympic Museum” was opened. On the occasion of my visit to the new Olympic Stadium, I also had a look at the sections of the museum that are publicly accessible (without admission fee):

Opening hours of the “Japan Olympic Museum”:

Daily (except monday) 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last entry 4:30 p.m.).
Should a public holiday fall on a monday, the museum will remain closed on the following working day instead.

Address of the “Japan Olympic Museums”:

Ground floor and first floor of the “Japan Sport Olympuic Square”
4-2 Kasumigaoka-machi, Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyō

Admission fees for the “Japan Olympic Museum” (first floor):

  • Adults: 500 Yen
  • Groups (20 and more persons): 400 Yen (please register in advance)
  • Seniors 65 years of age and older: 400 Yen
  • Students up to “High School”: free entry

There are further special conditions for disabled people and those accompanying them.

Tōkyō National Stadium (東京国立競技場) (6.11.2019)

Tōkyō National Stadium (東京国立競技場) (6.11.2019)

Tōkyō National Stadium (東京国立競技場) (6.11.2019)

Tōkyō National Stadium (東京国立競技場) (6.11.2019)

How to get there:

About 5 minutes walk from the subway station Gaienmae (外苑前 / がいえんまえ) (Tōkyō Metro, Ginza line).

About 10 minutes walk from the subway station Kokuritsu Kyōgijō (国立競技場 / こくりつきょうぎじょう) (Toei Subway Ōedo-line).

About 12 minutes walk from the JR-station Sendagaya (千駄ヶ谷 / せんだがや) (Chūō/Sōbu-line).


U-Bahn-Etikette / Subway Etiquette – updated

8. November 2019

Kampagne/Campaign 2019/2020

U-Bahn-Etikette / Subway Etiquette (11/2019)

U-Bahn-Etikette / Subway Etiquette (11/2019)

Der achte Monat des neuen Fiskal- und Geschäftsjahres hat begonnen – und damit wächst und gedeiht die neue Benimm-Kampagne. Nachdem im Vormonat schon die Unwägbarkeiten beim Umgang mit moderner Unterhaltungselektronik erörtert wurden, ist in diesem Monat des Japaners liebes Kind – das Smartphone (oder, wie es hierzulande liebevoll genannt wird: “sumaho”) – Gegenstand der Ermahnung.

The eighth month of the new fiscal and business year has just begun – and with it the new manner campaign is thriving and prospering. And while the imponderabilities of modern consumer electronic where the topic las month, this month it’s all about the Japanese favourite member of the family – the smartphone (or as it is being called affectionately: “sumaho”).

Bringen Sie sich mit den Benimm-Postern der vorangegangenen Monate und Jahre mal wieder auf den neuesten Stand!
U-Bahn-Etikette / Subway Etiquette

Why don’t you bring yourself up to speed again by having a look at the manner posters of recent months and years?
U-Bahn-Etikette / Subway Etiquette“.


Tōkyō Olympics 2020 – es ist (praktisch) so weit

31. October 2019

Das neue Olympiastadion steht kurz vor seiner Eröffnung

Eine englische Version dieses Arikels finden Sie hier.
An English version of this posting you can find here.

Ich habe schon lange nicht mehr über den Bautenfortschritt des neuen Olympiastadions in Tōkyō berichtet – schlicht und ergreifend deswegen, weil Bauzäune jeden halbwegs aufschlussreichen Blick auf die Baustelle verhindert haben. Inzwischen sind diese hohen Zäune verschwunden und haben “überschaubaren” Platz gemacht. Wer groß genug ist (was ich nicht bin) oder ein Periskop besitzt bzw. eine Kamera, die über-Kopf-Fotografie erlaubt, ist fein ‘raus. Ansonsten sind Leser von “Ways to Japan” sowieso immer im Vorteil.

Tōkyō National Stadium (東京国立競技場) (6.11.2019)

Tōkyō National Stadium (東京国立競技場) (6.11.2019)

Heute – sozusagen als Anschauungsmaterial (noch) ohne weiterführende Informationen – einen Blick auf den derzeitigen Zustand der Baustelle. Wie man unschwer erkennen kann, ist die Begrünung bereits weit fortgeschritten. Hier und da wird noch letzte Hand an die Ausstattung gelegt. Und wer sich noch mal ins Gedächtnis rufen möchte, wie es so weit kommen konnte, sei noch einmal auf folgende Artikel hingewiesen:

Tōkyō Olympics 2020 vs. 1964 (国立競技場)
– Wo neue Großartigkeit entstehen soll, muss alte weichen

Alea iacta est – Tōkyō Olympics 2020
– Von der großen Leere zur großen Lehre…

Tōkyō Olympics 2020 – es bewegt sich was!

Tōkyō Olympics 2020 – Wohnungen für die Athleten
– Wo einst Ödland sich breit machte, entsteht ein ganzes Stadtteil

Nebenan wurde am 14. September 2019 das “Japan Olympic Museum” eröffnet. Auch hiervon bei der Gelegenheit ein paar Impressionen von den öffentlich zugänglichen Bereichen:

Öffnungszeiten des “Japan Olympic Museums”:

Täglich außer montags von 10 Uhr bis 17 Uhr (letzter Einlass um 16:30 Uhr).
Fällt ein Feiertag auf Montag, bleibt das Museum statt dessen am darauffolgenden Tag geschlossen.

Adresse des “Japan Olympic Museums”:

Erdgeschoss und 1. Obergeschoss des “Japan Sport Olympuic Square”
4-2 Kasumigaoka-machi, Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyō

Eintrittsgeld für das “Japan Olympic Museum” (1. Obergeschoss):

  • Erwachsene: 500 Yen
  • Gruppen (20 und mehr Personen): 400 Yen (bitte vorab anmelden)
  • Senioren ab 65: 400 Yen
  • Schüler bis “High School”: freier Eintritt
  • Weitere Sonderkonditionen gibt es für Behinderte und Begleitpersonen.
Tōkyō National Stadium (東京国立競技場) (6.11.2019)

Tōkyō National Stadium (東京国立競技場) (6.11.2019)

Tōkyō National Stadium (東京国立競技場) (6.11.2019)

Tōkyō National Stadium (東京国立競技場) (6.11.2019)

Wie man hinkommt:

Etwa 5 Minuten Fußweg von der U-Bahnstation Gaienmae (外苑前 / がいえんまえ) (Tōkyō Metro, Ginza Linie).

Etwa 10 Minuten Fußweg von der U-Bahnstation Kokuritsu Kyōgijō (国立競技場 / こくりつきょうぎじょう) (Toei Subway Ōedo-Linie).

Etwa 12 Minuten Fußweg vom JR-Bahnhof Sendagaya (千駄ヶ谷 / せんだがや) (Chūō/Sōbu-Linie).


Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park: Lake Motosu (本栖湖)

12. October 2019

The view of a thousand Yen

Eine deutsche Version dieses Arikels finden Sie hier.
A German version of this posting you can find here.

The Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park” (富士箱根伊豆国立公園 / ふじはこねいずこくりつこうえん) that was founded in 1936 already, streches over an expanse of 1,200 km². And as such it has about double the size of the Metropolitan Prefecture of Tōkyō (東京都 / とうきょうと). It is located in the southwest of the Metropolis.

As its name suggests, it boasts several geological and natural highlights at once. The most famous of these highlights is undoubtedly Japan’s holy mountain, the Fuji-san (富士山 / ふじさん). I could use the occasion to thematise the various misspellings of the name of the mountain which are often encountered in the West (Fujiyama, Fudschiyama, Fudschijama, etc.), but I’m not going to – the mountain will only serve as a mere “extra” today.

Fuji-Hakone-Izu-Nationalpark: Motosu-See (本栖湖)

Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park: Lake Motosu (本栖湖)

Today it is all about a place in the national park, that probably provides the most beautiful of all views of this magnificent mountain. A look so breathtaking that it was deemed worthy of gracing the back of the current 1,000-yen note (an older 5,000-yen note also showed this sublime sight): The northwestern shore of Lake Motosu ( 本 栖 湖 / もとすこ).

Fuji-Hakone-Izu-Nationalpark: Motosu-See (本栖湖)

Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park: Lake Motosu (本栖湖)

Motosu-ko (1000-Yen-Bill)

Lake Motosu (本栖湖) (1,000-Yen note, issue 2004)

And because this lake is often overlooked (because most visitors have the easier-to-reach Kawaguchi Lake (河口湖 / かわぐちこ) on their agenda), it should be given a small place of honor here.

Fuji-Hakone-Izu-Nationalpark: Motosu-See (本栖湖)

Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park: Lake Motosu (本栖湖)

Lake Motosu is one of the “Fuji Five Lakes” (富士 五 湖 / ふじごこ) and with a surface of 4.7 km², it is the third largest of these five lakes. However, with an average depth of 67.3 metres (maximum depth at 121.6 metres), it is the deepest of the five and thus by far the richest in water. What’s more, it stores more water than all the other five lakes together. In addition, it is the only one of the five lakes on the northern flank of Fuji-san, which never freezes even in the coldest winter.

Fuji-Hakone-Izu-Nationalpark: Motosu-See (本栖湖)

Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park: Lake Motosu (本栖湖)

Fuji-Hakone-Izu-Nationalpark: Motosu-See (本栖湖)

Fuji-Hakone-Izu-National Park: Lake Motosu (本栖湖)

Moreover, it is also part of an interesting geological phenomenon:
Probably until the 9th century AD there as much larger lake in this area, until it was divided into three smaller lakes by a strong flow of lava from Fuji-san. These three smaller lakes still exist today: said Lake Motosu, the much smaller Lake Shōji (精進 湖 / しょうじこ) and, as the name suggests, the westernmost Lake Sai (西湖 / さいこ). All three are still interconnected underground, which (we all have learnt our physics lessons in school) means that all three have their water surface in the same altitude of 900 metres above sea level.

Fuji-Hakone-Izu-Nationalpark: Motosu-See (本栖湖)

Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park: Lake Motosu (本栖湖)

Fuji-Hakone-Izu-Nationalpark: Motosu-See (本栖湖)

Fuji-Hakone-Izu-National Park: Lake Motosu (本栖湖)

The barely developed lake is a popular destination and is appreciated by campers, windsurfers and anglers alike. But it enjoys greatest popularity with those who want to see the Fuji-san in surrounded by pristine-looking nature – not blemished by the otherwise rather unsightly villages and towns at the foot of the mountain.

How to get there:

The approach to Lake Motosu Lake is a bit cumbersome, since at least from the train station Kawaguchiko (河口湖 / かわぐちこ) one depents on buses (about 50 minutes time of travel) (Narusawa/Shōjiko/Motosuko Sightseeing Bus “Blue-Line”) – five times a day.

Best viewpoint above the “Koan Camping Ground” (浩 庵キンプ場) on the northwestern shore of the lake (about 4 km from the Motosoku Tourist Information Center).


Fuji-Hakone-Izu-Nationalpark: Motosu-See (本栖湖)

9. October 2019

Der eintausend-Yen-Ausblick

Eine englische Version dieses Arikels finden Sie hier.
An English version of this posting you can find here.

Der bereits im Jahre 1936 gegründete „Fuji-Hakone-Izu-Nationalpark“ (富士箱根伊豆国立公園 / ふじはこねいずこくりつこうえん) ist mit seinen über 1.200 km² ungefähr doppelt so groß wie die Metropolpräfektur Tōkyō (東京都 / とうきょうと) und liegt im Südwesten der Hauptstadt. Dass er gleich mit mehreren geologischen und natürlichen Highlights aufwarten kann, lässt sein Name vermuten. Das berühmteste all dieser Highlights ist zweifelsohne Japans heiliger Berg, der Fuji-san (富士山 / ふじさん). Hier soll nicht auf die im Westen oft anzutreffende Falschlesung des Namens der Berges eingegangen werden (Fujiyama, Fudschiyama, Fudschijama etc.) – der Berg soll heute nämlich „nur“ Statist sein.

Fuji-Hakone-Izu-Nationalpark: Motosu-See (本栖湖)

Fuji-Hakone-Izu-Nationalpark: Motosu-See (本栖湖)

Es gibt nämlich einen Ort im Nationalpark, der den wahrscheinlich schönsten Blick auf diesen Berg freigibt. Ein Blick, der so atemberaubend ist, dass er es wert befunden wurde, die Rückseite des aktuellen 1.000-Yen-Scheins zu zieren (eine ältere Ausgabe des 5.000-Yen-Scheins zeigte ebenfalls diesen erhabenen Anblick): Das Nordwestufer des Motosu-Sees (本栖湖 / もとすこ).

Fuji-Hakone-Izu-Nationalpark: Motosu-See (本栖湖)

Fuji-Hakone-Izu-Nationalpark: Motosu-See (本栖湖)

Motosu-ko (1000-Yen-Bill)

Motosu-ko (本栖湖) (1000-Yen-Schein, Ausgabe 2004)

Und weil dieser See gern übersehen wird (weil die meisten Besucher den leichter zu erreichenden Kawaguchi-See (河口湖 / かわぐちこ) auf der Agenda stehen haben), soll ihm hier ein kleiner Ehrenplatz eingeräumt werden.

Fuji-Hakone-Izu-Nationalpark: Motosu-See (本栖湖)

Fuji-Hakone-Izu-Nationalpark: Motosu-See (本栖湖)

Der Motosu-See gehört zu den „Fünf Fuji-Seen“ ( 富士五湖 / ふじごこ) und ist mit einer Fläche von 4,7 km² nur der drittgrößte dieser fünf Seen. Allerdings ist er mit einer mittleren Tiefe von 67,3 Metern (größte Tiefe bei 121,6 Metern) der tiefste der fünf Sehen und damit der mit Abstand wasserreichste. Mehr noch: Er speichert mehr Wasser, als alle anderen fünf Seen zusammen. Noch dazu ist er der einzige der fünf Seen auf der Nordflanke des Fuji-san, der auch im kältesten Winter nie zufriert.

Fuji-Hakone-Izu-Nationalpark: Motosu-See (本栖湖)

Fuji-Hakone-Izu-Nationalpark: Motosu-See (本栖湖)

Fuji-Hakone-Izu-Nationalpark: Motosu-See (本栖湖)

Fuji-Hakone-Izu-Nationalpark: Motosu-See (本栖湖)

Allerdings ist er auch Teil eines interessanten geologischen Phänomens:
Wahrscheinlich befand sich bis ins 9. nachchristliche Jahrhundert an dieser Stelle ein wesentlich größerer See, der durch starken Lava-Fluss vom Fuji-san in drei kleinere Seen aufgeteilt wurde. Diese drei kleineren See gibt es heute noch: besagten Motosu-See, den wesentlich kleineren Shōji-See (精進湖 / しょうじこ) und den, wie der Name suggeriert, am westlichsten gelegenen Sai-See (西湖 / さいこ). Alle drei sind auch heute noch unterirdisch miteinander verbunden, was dazu führt, dass alle ihren Wasserspiel auf 900 Metern ü.d.M. haben.

Fuji-Hakone-Izu-Nationalpark: Motosu-See (本栖湖)

Fuji-Hakone-Izu-Nationalpark: Motosu-See (本栖湖)

Fuji-Hakone-Izu-Nationalpark: Motosu-See (本栖湖)

Fuji-Hakone-Izu-Nationalpark: Motosu-See (本栖湖)

Der kaum erschlossene See ist ein beliebtes Ausflugsziel und wird von Campern, Windsurfern und Anglern in gleichem Maße geschätzt. Aber größter Beliebtheit erfreut er sich wohl bei denjenigen, die den Fuji-san einmal in unverfälscht wirkender Natur sehen wollen – unverschandelt durch die ansonsten eher wenig schmucken Siedlungen am Fuße des Berges.

Wie man hinkommt:

Die Anfahrt zum Motosu-See ist etwas mühsam, da man spätestens ab dem Bahnhof Kawaguchiko (河口湖 / かわぐちこ) auf Linienbusse angewiesen ist (ca. 50 Minuten Fahrzeit) (Narusawa/Shōjiko/Motosuko Sightseeing Bus „Blue-Line“ – fünfmal täglich).

Bester Aussichtspunkt oberhalb des „Koan Camping-Platz“ (浩庵キャンプ場) am Nordwestufer des Sees (ca. 4 km vom Motosoku Tourist Information Center).


Sankei-en (三渓園) (Engl.)

11. September 2019

Classic Japan at its finest – and you don’t even have to travel to Kyōto for it

Sankei-en (三渓園)

Sankei-en (三渓園)

Eine deutsche Version dieses Artikels finden Sie hier.
A German version of this posting you can find here.

If you know this website, you won’t be too surprised to find places here that you would not have expected – at least not at their location. Reports about sights everybody writes about, are not this website’s prime interest. And you may also have realised that the author does not have a particular soft spot for Kyōto.

Hence, the Sankei-en (三渓園 / さんけいえん), the garden of Mr. Sankei Hara (原三渓 / はらさんけい) (1868 – 1939), is the perfect match for “Ways to Japan”.

Sankei-en (三渓園)

Sankei-en (三渓園)

Sankei Hara was born as Tomitarō Aoki (青木富太郎 / あおきとみたろう) in Gifu (岐阜 / ぎふ) on August 23rd, 1868. He studied business and politics (other sources speak of “politics and law”) at the Tōkyō College (now: Waseda University), and was adopted into the family of the sucessful silk-businessman Zenzaburo Hara (原善三郎 / はらぜんざぶろう). He also married Zenzaburo Hara’s grand daughter.

And to top things: He was made the heir for the Hara estate, took over business from his adoptive father when he died (1899) and achieved considerable wealth through a great deal of business sense (among other location, also within the environment of the “Tomioka Silk Spinners” in Gunma Prefecture, which has been made a World Cultural Heritage in 2014).

In 1915 he became president of “Teikoku Silk” (帝国蚕糸 / ていこくさんし) – and five years later president of the Yokohama Kōshin Bank (横浜興信銀行 / よこはまこうしんぎんこう) (now: Bank of Yokohama (横浜銀行 / よこはまぎんこう).

During this time of success he also presented himself as a patron of the arts (there is quite a number of museums in Japan that still “live on” his collections). However, and that should be of even greater interest for us today, he also transformed his estate in Honmoku (本牧 / ほんもく) in the south of Yokohama (横浜 / よこはま) into a gem that one would not expect at that location: the Sankei-en (三渓園 / さんけいえん) – and expanse of 175,000 sqm and one of the most beautiful landscape parks of Japan.

Sankei-en (三渓園)

Sankei-en (三渓園)

Sankei-en (三渓園)

Sankei-en (三渓園)

Sankei-en (三渓園) - Dreistöckige Pagode des ehemalige Tōmyō-ji (旧燈明寺三重塔)

Sankei-en (三渓園) – Three-Story Pagoda of the former Tōmyō-ji (旧燈明寺三重塔)

More than a hundred years ago (1906), Hara opened the outer part of the garden to the public (at that time it was free of charge for the citizens of Yokohama) – he even provided visitors with wood, stoves and water for their picnics. Today it is one of the gems of Japanese horticulture. And not only that: it is a veritable open-air museum for all those who are interested in traditional Japanese architecture, but don’t want to go through the trouble of a trip Kyōto.

Not only nine “important cultural properties of Japan” are located on the park’s grounds, but also three “trangible cultural assets of the city of Yokohama”. In this garden you can admire buildings that were brought here from all over Japan (in particular from Kyōto, Kamakura and Shirakawagō) and date back as far as the 15th century. In total, there are 17 historical structures (temples, buildings related to historical figures). One of the main attractions of the Sankei-en is the oldest three-story pagoda in the Kantō region.

Let’s have a closer look at some of the buildings.

Inner Garden

This part of the garden was the Hara family’s private “resort” and has its focus on historical buildings that date back to the 16th century.

Jutō Ōidō of the former Tenzui-ji (旧天瑞寺寿塔覆堂 / きゅうてんずいじじゅとうおおいどう) (important cultural property)

A “Jutō” (tower of longevity) is a kind of memorial and burial place to celebrate its longevity of persons already during their lifetime. Hideyoshi Toyotomi (豊臣秀吉 / とよとみひでよし / one of the “unifiers of Japan”) had the Tenzui -ji built in the courtyard of Daitoku-ji in Kyōto in his days, to pray for his mother, who had seriously fallen ill. In gratitude for her recovery, he had the Jutō built in 1592. The building, which was brought here in 1905, is “only” the protective shell of the actual Jutō.

Rinshunkaku (臨春閣 / りんしゅんかく) (important cultural property)

This villa was built in 1649 and has been moved to its current location in 1917. Originally, it was the residence of the “son of the first Tokugawa Shōgun, Ieyasu”, the head of the Kishu Tokugawa clan in Wakayama Prefecture (和歌山県 / わかやまけん). The interiors (which unfortunately can only be viewed from the outside) are characterized by exquisit wall paintings.

Chōshūkaku (聴秋閣 / ちょうしゅうかく) (important cultural property)

It is believed that this building was erected under the third Tokugawa Shōgun, Iemitsu Tokugawa (徳川家光 / とくがわいえみつ), in 1623 on the grounds of Nijo Castle (二条城 / にじょうじょう) in Kyōto (京都 / きょうと). Only a few houses of this architectural style, which is characterized by the fact that it avoids symmetries, are preserved. This one was moved to its present location in 1922.

Gekkaden (月華殿 / げっかでん) (important cultural propery)

Originally built in 1603, die building as a waiting room for visiting daimyo (local feudal lords) on the grounds of the Fushimijō Castle in Kyoto, but brought here in 1918.

Kinmōkutsu (金毛窟 / きんもうくつ)

Sankei-en (三渓園) - Kinmōkutsu (金毛窟)

Sankei-en (三渓園) – Kinmōkutsu (金毛窟)

This tea arbor was built by Sankei Hara in 1918 and houses a particularly tiny space for tea ceremonies (1 1/3 tatami = 2 square metres). The name of the building refers to a component of the Kinmōkaku of Daitoku-ji in Kyōto, which was used for the construction.

Tenju-in (天授院 / てんじゅいん) (important cultural property)

Sankei-en (三渓園) - Tenju-in (天授院)

Sankei-en (三渓園) – Tenju-in (天授院)

Originally, the Tenju-in was the hall for the adoration of a Jizō Bosatsu, which was built in 1651 at the Shinpei-ji in Kamakura. The hall was added to the garden in 1916 and is a fine example of a Zen Buddhist building.

Outer Garden

This part of the Sankei-en was opened to the public in 1906 and since 1914 has been dominated by a three-storey pagoda which is some 550 years old. Here seasonal flowers can be admired from spring to summer.

Former Residence of the Hara family, Kakushōkaku (鶴翔閣 / かくしょうかく) (important cultural property)

This building was built in 1902 as a home of the Hara family. With a total floor space of 950 square metres, it not only provided the family with plenty of space, but also for the many diverse guests from culture and politics. After being rebuilt during World War II, the building was restored to its original condition in 2000. Unfortunately, it can not be visited.

Three-Story Pagoda of the former Tōmyō-ji (旧燈明寺三重塔 / きゅうとうみょうじっさんじゅうのとう) (important cultural property)

The pagoda, built in 1457, once belonged to the Tōmyō-ji (燈明寺 / とうみょうじ) in Kyōto, which dates back to a foundation in 753. In 1914 it was added to the Sankei-en and is therefore considered the oldest surviving pagoda in the Kantō region.

Main Hall of the former Tōmyō-ji (旧燈明寺本堂 / きゅうとうみょうじほんどう) (important cultural property)

Sankei-en (三渓園) - Haupthalle des ehemaligen Tōmyō-ji (旧燈明寺本堂)

Sankei-en (三渓園) – Main Hall of the former Tōmyō-ji (旧燈明寺本堂)

Like the three-story pagoda, the main hall of the Tōmyō-ji (燈明寺 / とうみょうじ) was built in 1457 in Kyōto. After being damaged there in 1947 by a typhoon, it was disassembled and put into storage. Only in 1986/87 the pagoda was rebuilt here at the Sankei-en.

Buddha Hall of the former Tōkei-ji (旧東慶寺仏殿 / きゅうとうけいじぶつでん) (important cultural propert)

Sankei-en (三渓園) - Ehemalige Buddha-Halle des Tōkei-ji (旧東慶寺仏殿)

Sankei-en (三渓園) – Buddha Hall of the former Tōkei-ji (旧東慶寺仏殿)

In 1907, the Buddha Hall of the Zen temple, Tōkei-ji (東慶寺 / とうけいじ), founded in 1285 in Kamakura, was brought here. Form and style suggest that the building dates back to the Muromachi period (14th to 16th centuries). The information leaflet of the Sankei-en speaks of a year of construction of 1634.

Former Residence of the Yonahara family, Gasshō Zukuri (合掌造・旧矢箆原家住宅 / がっしょうづくり・きゅうやのはらけじゅうたく) (important cultural property)

From the remote Shirakawa-gō (白川郷 / しらかわごう) in the Gifu prefecture (岐阜県 / ぎふけん) came this residential and farm-house that was built around 1750 in the “gasshō zukuri” style (more details on this type of Japanese farmhouse, please read in my article about Shirakawa-gō). There it had been the residence of the village chief. It is the only historic building in the Sankei-en that can also be entered by visitors. Immerse yourself in the world of these very typical farmhouses. And this is one of the special kind, as its relatively high-quality equipment indicates that the Yonahara family was one of the three most influential in the then Hida province (now Gifu prefecture).

Actually, this building was moved to the garden in 1960, because otherwise it would have been submerged by the construction of a new dam.

On the south side of the garden, there is a so-called “Observatory”, which provides a view of the Tōkyō Bay. This view has changed tremendously since the days of Hara. And not necessarily to its advantage (at least, if you look at it from the point of view of those who want to get into the beauty of Japan). The Yokohama harbour has “grown” around the garden – you have to be capable of a very selective view in order to recognize the former charm.

How to get there:

The Sankei-en may also be less known than you would expect, because it is comparatively difficult to reach. There are direct bus connections from Yokohama station. The easiest way to get there is, however, from the Negishi station (根岸 / ねぎし) of the Keihin Tōhoku line (京浜東北線 / けいひんとうほくせん) (which – as the name suggests – connects Tōkyō with Yokohama). Go to platform 1 of the bus terminal in front of the station and take one of the busses of the lines 58, 99 or 101. The trip from from Negishi to Honmoku (本牧 / ほんもく) takes little more than 10 minutes (at the bus stop in Honmoku you will find a map detailling the area). In Honmoku you cross the Honmoku Dōri (本牧通り / ほんもくどおり) and walk about 10 minutes in a southwesterly direction (on the way there is only one recognizable sign) to the main gate of the Sankei-en.

At the entrance of the Sankei-en you will also find schedules of the local busses – you can plan your way home very comfortably while being in the garden.

Openting hours:

Daily from 9 am to 5 pm (last entry: 4:30 pm)
Closed during the New Year holidays (29th, 30th and 31st of December)

Admission fees:

Adults (15 years and older): 700 Yen (600 Yen for groups of 10 or more persons)
Children (14 years and younger): 200 Yen (100 Yen for groups of 10 or more persons)

There are discounts for senior citizens of Yokohama, persons with physical disabilities (incl. accompanying person). Also books of 5 tickets can be bought for a discounted price.

Annual tickets are available for 2,500 Yen (adults) or 700 Yen respectively (for children and senior citizens of Yokohama).

Parking is available at the main gate of the park (charge).

Rules for the visit of the garden:

  • Pets are not allowed.
  • Smoking is permitted only in designated areas.
  • Do not pick plants or flowers or remove any wildlife from the garden.
  • No eating or drinking in the inner garden.
  • Private use of the buildings and gardens, as well as photography for commercial purposes requires prior approval.