Yokokan Garden

Yokokan Garden 養浩館庭園

The beautiful Yokokan Garden is adjacent to the Fukui City History Museum and a short, 10-minute walk from Fukui Castle.

Yokokan can be visited along with Fukui City History Museum on a combined ticket.

Yokokan Garden, Fukui, Fukui  Prefecture.
Yokokan Garden, Fukui, Fukui Prefecture.

Yokokan History

Yokokan Garden, which was known as "Osensui" during the Edo Period, was the second home of the Matsudaira clan, the ruling feudal lords of Fukui domain in Echizen Province.

The name Yokokan was adopted during the Meiji Period of Japanese history. The villa and garden were located on the edge of the outer moat and were developed over time by the Matsudaira family. The present scale of the buildings is said to be the work of the 7th lord, Yoshinori.

Various historical events are associated with the villa and gardens. Remaining historical documents state that Yokokan was the place where the mistress of the 4th lord, Mitsumichi, gave birth to a son. It was here too that the second lord, Tadanao, forced his chief vassal, Uemon Nagami, to commit seppuku.

Yokokan Garden, Fukui, Fukui  Prefecture.
Yokokan Garden, Fukui City History Museum.
Otsukiminoma, Yokokan Garden, Fukui, Fukui  Prefecture.
Otsukiminoma showing the tokonoma, Yokokan Garden.

Yokokan had a reputation as a place of study and learning. Unfortunately, the original structures were destroyed in an air raid in World War II.

The buildings and garden were rebuilt in 1982 using a blue-print of 'Osensui' dating back to 1823. The villa is set on a koi-carp filled lake with gardens along the side including an artificial hill, natural stone bridges, stone lanterns, stepping stones and a small detached pavilion - Seiren. The gardens include cherry trees, plum trees, hydrangeas and peony.

The lovely lake has random stone islands in its waters.

The main rooms include the Gozanoma, where the lord would come to relax and is a lovely space with cedar beams, tatami floor, tokonoma and shoji paper doors.

The Otsukiminoma was used for watching the moon rise and also to see the moon set with its reflection in the lake. Note the use of zelkova wood and the beautiful shoji windows.

The Kusari Room includes a painting of a male cockerel on the sliding door and has bamboo wickerwork on the outside.

The villa also includes a bathroom with an early type of sauna, an oyudono.

Yokokan, Fukui Prefecture.
Looking through the sliding door and tatami rooms to the lake, Yokokan Garden.

Yokokan Garden
1-12-3 Houei, Fukui, 910-0004
Tel: 0776 21 0489
Admission: 210 yen or 340 yen with admission to Fukui City History Museum
Hours: 9am-7pm; 9am-5pm November 6-to the end of February
Google map

Yokokan Garden, Fukui, Fukui  Prefecture.
Yokokan Garden, Fukui, Fukui Prefecture.

Access To Fukui - how to get to Yokokan

Fukui Station is on the JR Hokuriku Line from Maibara Station in Shiga Prefecture to Naoetsu Station in Niigata Prefecture.

From Nagoya take a Hikari shinkansen bullet train to Maibara and change (1 hour, 43 minutes) or a direct Shirasagi Express (2 hours, 10 minutes).

From Kyoto there are Thunderbird Express trains taking about 80 minutes to Fukui.

There are express highway buses from Nagoya Station to Fukui Station taking about 3 hours.

Yokokan is a 10 minute walk from Fukui Station or take Keifuku bus #N11 from the station and get off at Rekishi Hakubutsukan-mae stop.

Yokokan, Fukui, Fukui Prefecture.
Stepping stones, Yokokan, Fukui city, Fukui Prefecture.
Statue of Matsudaira Yoshinaga, Fukui, Fukui Prefecture.
Yokokan villa and lake, Fukui.

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