Japan Gardens: Shukkeien Garden Hiroshima
Shukkei-en Garden Hiroshima 縮景園
Shukkei-en Garden, located in the center of Hiroshima is an Edo Period landscape garden deserving of comparison with Kenroku-en in Kanazawa, and Koraku-en in Okayama prefectures, though on a smaller scale of 4 hectares.
Shukkei-en Garden was laid out on the instructions of Asano Nagaakira (1586-1632), the daimyo (feudal lord) of the Hiroshima han (domain) and a key ally of Ieyasu Tokugawa. Shukkei-en was completed in 1620 and is centered around a large pond fed by the Ota River with several islets and scenic bridges.
Shukkei-en Garden has several pretty, thatched teahouses.
The name means "landscape garden in miniature" and is an imitation of West Lake in Hangzhou, China.
During the Meiji Period and the end of the feudal domain system the Asano family continued to live in the villa in the gardens until 1940 when they donated the grounds to Hiroshima city and they became a public park.
Shukkei-en Garden was badly damaged in the atomic bombing of 1945 but has been completely restored and reopened in 1951.
Tel: 082 221 3620
Admission: 250 yen
Hours: 9am to 6pm (April to September); 9am to 5pm (October to March)
From Hiroshima Castle, Shukkei-en is a 10 minute walk east. The Hiroshima Prefectural Museum of Art is adjacent to Shukkei-en. Take a number #9 tram to Shukkei-en-mae stop. Yuka-en is Hiroshima's other outstanding garden.
Images by Jake Davies