Tuesday, May 15, 2018

好古園 Koko-en Gardens by the Himeji Castle

The Garden of the Lord's residence
Japanese garden “Koko-en” was opened in 1992 to celebrate 100th year anniversary of Himeji City
 at the exact site of Nishi-Oyashiki (Lord’s West Residence) with Himeji Castle.
The archaeologically excavated site of samurai houses and roads was utilized
 and the gardening techniques of the Edo period (1603-1868) was used. 
The 3.5 hectare garden is composed of nine separate walled gardens designed in different style.
This post covers some of them.

The comfortable sound of water leads visitors to the Garden of the Lord's Residence,
which is the biggest garden in Koko-en.
There are about 250 colorful Koi carp in the large pond.

Seasonal flowers bloom one after another.

During the hanami season when I visited Himeji Castle
cherry blossoms were the most eye-catching,
giving grace and beauty to the Flatly Landscaped Garden.

The photo below; Japanese Quince
One month later in May, dominant colors are refreshing shades of green.

Bamboo fences separate the garden from the outside and are decorative.
Bamboo is strong, yet flexible, which allows for a great variety of designs.
 When it is exposed to sun and rain, it is relatively short-lived weathering sooner, 
but it ages gracefully. 

These bamboo fences below subdivide the garden.

In the Tea Ceremony Garden, inside and outside of the architecture becomes one
with big windows wide open.
I like this integration of interiors and exteriors.

At the authentic sukiya style teashouse, Souju-an, Green powdered tea is served.

Drinking a cup of rich frothy green tea;
a moment of pause and reflection,
to finish the gardens tour or to have a rest in between.


  1. If I were a flower or a fish, I would love to live in any one of these luxurious gardens within gardens. After feasting on nature’s beauty, how right to be refreshed and clear headed in an uncluttered room sipping a soothing cup of tea.

  2. As usual, your photographs are exquisite and show off these various gardens and their majesty so well. This is another most beautiful place that I would love to visit and walk slowly to drink in the beauty that it affords. Love those cherry blossoms, the koi, the many other flowering bushes. Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. Such beautiful sights. I could almost hear the water. Flowering trees seem magical, such lovely and lively energy. Thank you for sharing your world with us!

  4. You take such beautiful photographs, I'm enchanted by each one.

  5. Dear Yoko - I love the tranquility of these beautiful gardens, and the elegance of the teahouse but now I am wondering how do you make tea frothy?

  6. I always love to visit your blog where I know my eyes will be treated to beauty and artistry. These shots are fabulous Yoko. Thank you for sharing.

  7. I am always amazed at the frugal use of space in Japanese gardens exuding tranquility as each element cooperates with the others. Each season brings its own enchantment of form and color. I'm not always a fan of green tea, but your photo and the description make me think I'd stop and enjoy a cup (and a treat)!

  8. I visited this fabulous Himeji Castle once and didn't know there is a lovely residence with beautiful landscaped garden and koi fishes in the lake. That could be the reasons it was winter and they probably closed to tourists. Thank you for sharing the pretty photographs.

  9. So much serenity amid all this beauty! Thanks for sharing.
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  10. Beautiful image the building You chose well for the theme.
    Your blog is very nice,Thanks for sharing good blog.

  11. Thank you Yoko for the good information. Precious all the photos. I love the 2nd, with that waterfall. I also like tea a lot, I usually take it red.
    I wish you a good Thursday.

  12. How incredibly beautiful and peaceful.

  13. Oh dear !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    you live in part of land which seems PIECE OF HEAVEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thank you for sharing these absorbing views and enriching my day with elegance and beauty!!!

    Charming lake and delightful fishes

    incredibly uplifting images of castle
    loved the inside serene view!

    wishing you more peace and beauty around you my friend!

  14. Everything what here you leave us has encouraged me to look for more information. 3,5 hectares it is what there occupy nine individual gardens that form the Koko - en. Nevertheless, to visit this post is enough to get an idea of the beauty, serenity and refinement of this fantastic place. To visit it in spring has to be something sublime.And what better final clasp to enjoy the experience that the ceremony of tea?

  15. These are wonderfully colorful shots, what a fun place to spend time.


  16. Yesterday in Brazil the TV showed the beauties of Japan.
    I remembered your beautiful blog.
    Continuation of a good month.

  17. What an enchanting place this is, with the lovely peaceful gardens and the blossoms on the trees. I am at a loss for words to tell you how lovely this is! Every time I see your photos I wish I could visit Japan, and Nara in particular!!!!

  18. The Japanese gardens are so beautiful.
    Thank you for these wonderful photos.
    Have a nice weekeend
    Kind regards
    Maria from
    Divagar Sobre Tudo um Pouco

  19. It certainly looks like this garden has been in place much longer that 26 years - so lovely. The bamboo as fence does inspire me to think about how we might use our natural materials here to create dividers in our space. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  20. Hello Dear Yoko!
    It's another fascinating post and great photos.
    I am happy that I could see blooming trees and flowers.
    This is an unprecedented spring phenomenon.
    Kisses and greetings.
    Blessed week.

  21. こんにちわ。



  22. こんばんは。滝が美しいですね。姫路にこんな美しい庭園があるとは知りませんでした。 風邪をひいて数日静養をしていました。

  23. No personal invitation to tea?)
    Enjoyable walk, thank you, Yoko! For a new word combination, too, I mean "hanami season". Your blog is a restful break in my "diploma-papers season", not as absorbing as your pictures, but urgent and unavoidable.
    Enjoy the rest of May!
    With best wishes,

  24. What an interesting garden. I also very much like the bamboo fence. Here, bamboo has become rather fashionable, although I have never seen a garden fence made with it. It can be used for flooring, and even clothing. I suppose the equivalent material here is wicker, often the stems of willow, woven to create a fence, but also used for baskets, and, more recently, sculptures to go in the garden. It also weathers over the years, and eventually disintegrates, returning to the land.
    My eye was struck by the shapes and colours of so many koi carp, but the secret waterfall beneath the trees is also very appealing.

  25. 姫路にこのような立派な日本庭園があるのですね。池に落ちる滝が糸の様に流れてすごく綺麗です。


  26. Beautiful pictures
    Have a nice day

  27. What a beautiful place....the calm seeps through your photos.
    Thank you Yoko,

  28. This is such a gorgeous place! I would spend hours taking photos!

  29. This looks like a beautiful area and I know I would enjoy visiting there. Naturally I would have my eyes and ears tuned to the birds!

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