To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Himeji municipality, a Japanese garden was constructed in 1992. It was called Koko-en Garden or Himeji Koko-en. It is located next to Himeji Castle and covers an area of 3.5 hectares consisting of nine beautiful gardens.
The main location of the gardens used to be the residence of several samurais in Japan. It was clearly proven through several excavations. It was designed by Professor Makoto Nakamura together with top landscape artists and architects into different themes. The design carried along the style of the Edo Period, a time when shoguns ruled over Japan. As there are nine separate walled gardens, the professor made sure that the view changes once you enter another garden. It was also made to look beautiful during all four seasons.
The nine gardens of Koko-en feature several classical things to watch out for such as requisite bridges, waterfalls, a koi pond, a tea garden, evergreen garden, bamboo garden, pine tree garden, a water garden and a flower garden. Its tea house is very attractive and is also popular for conducting the Japanese tea ceremony, which you have to pay an additional fee for if you would like to participate. If you don’t want to do so, you can just enjoy a glass of matcha and small wagashi. The ponds are just as gorgeous with their mirror-like surface which is considered to be an indication of an excellent Japanese water garden.
The garden can be visited all throughout the year but it is more popular during the autumn for its leaves. However, if you really want to check out the place when the flowers are blossoming, you better head out during the spring season.
Koko-en Garden has all of the beautiful elements a garden should have wrapped into one place. It is one of the must-visit places in Japan which is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you should be sure not to miss.