Kokoen Garden

Koi Fish @ Kokoen Garden, Himeji (Japan)

Just outside of Himeji Castle lies the gorgeous Kokoen Garden, opened in 1992 on the former site of the feudal lords’ residence.

Visitors can partake in a tea ceremony. We did not.

There was no signage of any sort, English or not. As such there was not much to learn about the Kokoen Garden. I think they did have an information kiosk at the beginning but we didn’t grab any literature.

The path takes visitors through a small house, where Buddhist(?) prayers and demonstrations are done. We always feel weird lurking during religious events so we moved along.

Kokoen Garden, Himeji (Japan)
Some idiot photographer had set up a tripod right in the middle of the goddamn walking path, blocking the passage to take pictures of god knows what in the direction of some bushes. He clicked away with his off-camera shutter release, dancing around his tripod to try to get out of people’s way without considering the actual obstacle that impeded them. So enthusiastic and inconsiderate was he that one can only imagine he had a particularly prime view of the women’s onsen and didn’t want to lose it.

After the exhaustive tour of Himeji we had just completed, it was nice to enjoy Kokoen Garden’s tranquil, quiet beauty for a while before heading back to civilization. Except for the photographer and us, there were nowhere near as many foreigners present in the gardens as there were at Himeji Castle itself so it appears to be a somewhat-overlooked excursion on the tourist circuit.

With the sun setting all around us, the fall leaves really glowed with an otherworldly hue. Cameras don’t do it justice. Kokoen Garden is certainly beautiful during the fall. It’s probably beautiful the rest of the year too.


Pro-family and anti-drug, when he's not too busy living with four beautiful ladies, he likes long walks on the beach and poking dead things with sticks.

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