Brilliant Colors of Ritsurin Garden

Shimmering autumn leaves in a feudal lord's garden

By Masayoshi Hirose    - 2 min read

Located in Takamatsu City in Kagawa Prefecture, Ritsurin Garden is a strolling-style daimyo garden designated as National Special Place of Scenic Beauty. In the Edo period, each daimyo (lord) competed to build 'daimyo gardens'. As a result, landscaping artistry developed to leave many exquisite daimyo gardens scattered around in Japan to this day. In this photo story, I will introduce Ritsurin Garden, one of the largest gardens designated as Japanese Cultural Property.

As you proceed through the garden, you'll come across two tea houses. One is "Higurashi-tei", a small tea hut with a thatched roof. Standing at the edge of the Nanko (south pond), is the other tea house "Kikugetsu-tei", which is built in Sukiya style and much larger than the other. Visitors can enjoy tea while appreciating the beauty of the garden.

Walking through the pathway along the Nanko you'll see the tsukiyama (artificial miniature hill) over the semicircular Taiko bridge. This hill is called "Hiraihou", and is said to be modeled after Mt. Fuji. The hilltop offers the greatest view of the garden. When the sun sets, lights are lit, and then like magic breathtaking colors of autumn leaves emerge in the darkness. Bewitched with the beauty of illuminated leaves, I forgot about the gate-closing time and almost missed getting out.

These pictures are only a small part of what the garden can offer and there is a lot more to see here. I just hope my story conveys a little glimpse of its charm.

It's open every day from sunrise to sunset. You can find the detailed information here.

Getting there

From JR Takamatsu Station – 7 min. by car
From JR Ritsurin Station – 20 min. on foot
From JR Ritsurin Koen Kitaguchi Station – 3 min. on foot
From Kotoden Ritsurin Koen Station – 10 min. on foot

More info

Find out more about Ritsurin Garden.

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Takako Sakamoto

Takako Sakamoto @takako.sakamoto

I was born in and grew up in Tokushima prefecture, and have lived in many places since then: Nishinomiya, Kyoto, Nara, Mie, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Fukuoka and Fukui. I am currently living in Yokohama City. All the places I lived, all the places I visited, I have loved dearly. The historical places where people lived, loved, suffered, and fought - places where I can still hear their heartbeats - mesmerize me. I'd like to retrace the footsteps of the people who lived in Japan a long long time ago, and introduce to you what they left behind on this soil.  

Original by Masayoshi Hirose