One of the admirable things I love about Japan is the people's passion for gardens. It has been part of the culture, traditions, and everyday life of the people. And since we have a long holiday at the moment because of Golden Week, my husband and I decided to go to Yokohama to visit the Sankeien Garden. It has been seven years since I last visited this garden but its beauty is simply awesome.
Considered as one of the best gardens in Japan, the garden captures the hearts of its visitors with its magnificent pond, beautiful landscape, and historical buildings. It used to be a private garden of a rich silk trader, Sankei Hara, and then was opened to the public in 1904.
As we enter the garden, we were welcomed by a picturesque big pond as the center attraction of the garden. On the opposite side, were small louts and water lily ponds. Lotus plants were just about to grow while white lilies start to beautify the garden.
And because it is Golden Week, some historical buildings were open to the public. We were able to enter several tea houses, the main hall, and the inner garden. Walking inside the buildings gave us a better perspective of the garden as if we were back in time when the teahouses and halls were still in use.
After an hour or so we made a quick rest in one of the benches facing the main pond. While eating our bento (packed lunch), we enjoyed watching the kids and the adults having fun feeding the big carps and turtles. One of the garden's stores sell bread sticks for the fishes.
Some parts of the garden are uphill so it was also a good opportunity for some brief hiking. The sound of the bamboos dancing with the wind as well as the water flowing small streams gave us a refreshing and relaxing feeling. We also went to up to Shokukaku Observatory and to the three-storey Pagoda of the old Tomyoji Temple, the oldest wooden pagoda in Kanto region.
On our way back to the main gate, we passed by the outer garden where we saw some apricot trees that were used as models for Yokoboshi, one of the masterpieces by a famous Japanese artist Kanzan Shimomura.