Yoshimizu-en Garden

Yoshimizu Garden [吉水園] is lovely, private garden, only open to the public on two weekends, twice a year. If you can make it on it’s open weekend in November, it’s a great place to take in on the way to or from Sandankyo Gorge and is worthy destination in its own right.

The garden was originally conceived as a mountain getaway for industrialist Sasaki Hachiuemon and its construction was begun in 1781. In January, 1783, Shorin’an, a shrine dedicated to the Buddha of healing, Bhaisajyaguru, was moved to the garden from its original location. The garden underwent three major renovations by Kyoto garden designer Shimizu Shichirouemon. The remodeling was completed in 1807.

From the garden’s English web page:

The pond and surrounding mountains were not altered during the construction of Yoshimizu Garden.Likewise, the thatched hut, Yoshimizu Pavilion, and Shorin’an were placed in such a way that they might harmonize with the existing surroundings.It is said that the best place from which to appreciate the garden is from the Yoshimizu Pavilion balcony, from which you can see Shorin’an on the right and the Ota River in the distance. In 1951, Yoshimizu Garden was designated a prefectural “Scenic Spot”.

Yoshimizu Garden is a natural habitat for the Forest Tree Frog or moriao-gaeru and has been designated a prefectural wildlife reserve since 1952.  During the mating season which starts in mid-May, male frogs lure females into trees which hang above ponds and proceed to kick up a frothy, sticky mass of foam in which hundreds of eggs are laid. In their foamy incubators the developing eggs are safe from hungry fish in their foamy incubators which hang from the trees above the water. The sacs are quite an eerie sight and locals call them “small bags of life” – seimei-no-kobukuro. After a week or so the eggs hatch and the newborn tadpoles are carried into the water below by the rain showers which are plentiful during the June rainy season.  Two months later, the baby frogs claimb out of the water and return to the trees.which has the unique habit of laying its eggs in trees close to the water. During the egg-laying season Moriao Tree Frogs In 1952, the garden was designated

Yoshimizu Garden is only open to the general public twice a year; i the first and second weekend in June for the egg-laying of the Moriao tree frogs and the second weekend in November for the viewing of the beautiful fall autumn leaves. There is a ¥200 admission fee to enter the garden.

Access: 15 minutes drive from Togouchi interchange on the Chugoku Expressway.


Paul Walsh

Paul arrived in Hiroshima "for a few months" back in 1996. He is the co-founder of GetHiroshima.com and loves running in the mountains.