The Ran No Yakata, Orchid Pavilion, Nagoya. (Photo: Aichi Prefecture.)
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Ran No Yakata, Nagoya's Orchid Gardens

According to the movie director Akira Kurosawa’s movie poster, Ran is Japanese for “chaos”. It’s also the Japanese word for the peaceful “orchid”.

About 10 minutes walk from Nagoya’s TV Tower, at the southern-most end of Nagoya’s Hisaya Odori park, also known as Central Park running north south through the middle of Nagoya city, is a slightly Mediterranean looking building. This is the Ran no Yakata, Nagoya’s Orchid Gardens, voted among the top twenty attractions of the city.

Enclosed in a walled off garden setting, the Ran no Yakata opened in 1998 and boasts over 250 different species of orchid. The main, large glasshouse and specially created climate controlled exhibit rooms feature all types of common and rare tropical orchids, and a wide variety of flowing plants. Throughout the year, the complex is host to various seasonal flower shows and horticultural events. Don’t be surprised if you stumble across somebody’s special day on your visit as the Ran no Yakata is also a popular venue for weddings and functions.

A number of indoor and outdoor cafes add to the enjoyment of a couple of hours spent at the gardens, and makes for a great meeting-with-friends or business lunch spot. During the summer months the gardens operate a much favored “all you can drink” outdoor beer garden and grill.

Relax in the pleasant terrace area overlooking well manicured lawns, potted plants and orchids. Follow the winding walkways and stroll the wide grounds around the pond and flower beds. Enjoy the Japanese styled garden with its carefully chosen and shaped greenery surrounding islands of rocks in a small, flowing pond, and even the Spanish garden with is rows of large terracotta pots sprouting all manner of pretty flowers and shrubs. It won’t be long before you forget that you’re in the heart of one of Japan’s largest, busiest cities.

Around the gardens are a number of smaller greenhouses created to propagate rare orchids from various tropical regions that can also be viewed.

Admission is 700 yen, however during the two day Nagoya Festival held every October, entry is free.

Nagoya's Ran no Yakata is an oasis in the middle of the bustling city’s Sakae business and shopping district, and provides a blooming good escape from the city scape!

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