By Bonson Lam
Suizenji Park (水 前 寺 成 趣園) is located in Kumamoto Prefecture. Suizenji is famous for its replica of famous places in Japan such as Mount Fuji and Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto. Suizenji Park was originally a temple (Temple Suizenji), but at around 1600, the owner built a huge park around this temple. The location of the pond, trees and hills (replica of Mount Fuji) correspond to the 53 points of Tokaido, a famous route that connects Edo to Kyoto.
Aside from the replica of Mount Fuji and Fushimi Inari Shrine, visitors can also see the statues of famous emperors in Japan. Visitors can also find out more about the history of Kumamoto. The Izumi Temple on the north side of the park is a popular photo spot. Visitors can enjoy traditional Japanese tea while taking in the view of the park.
Suizenji Park is one of major tourist attractions in Kumamoto after the Kumamoto Castle. It is also one of the best places for viewing the cherry blossoms in the spring. In the summer, Suizenji Park is particularly charming for its predominantly green grass and trees. The summer sun brings every corner of the park to life. It is no surprise that Suizenji Park is listed as one fo the most beautiful parks in Japan.
Yukatas and kimonos can be rented for only ¥100. There are many shops and restaurants in the park that sell Kumamoto souvenirs and Kumamon items (Kumamon is Kumamoto's widely popular mascot). At the edge of the lake there is a traditional Japanese style room provided for taking a break and it is equipped with free wifi and air conditioner. Bathrooms are easily accessed by wheelchair users.
It is easy to reach Suizenji Park. There is a tram station near the entrance to the park. If you choose to ride the tram, you must get off at Suizenji Park Station and walk about 5 minutes to the park entrance gate. The admission price is also quite affordable: ¥200 for elementary and junior high school students and ¥ 400 for the public. At the entrance, wheelchairs are available for rent. You may wish to bring food to feed the fish and the birds at the park. Enjoy your visit!
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