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Manyo Botanical Garden

Flower collection from the "Ten-Thousand Tanka"

Manyo Botanical Garden, situated within the precincts of Kasuga Taisha Shrine, has 300 kinds of plants, all mentioned in Manyo-shu (Ten-Thousand Tanka: the oldest anthology of tanka poems). Especially in May, 200 wisteria swaying in the wind are lovely. The wisteria is the symbol of the Fujiwara clan, who originally enshrined their guardian god here at the foot of Kasuga Hill. There is a Japanese teahouse ‘Ninai-jaya’ on the long approach to the shrine. The entrance of the garden is just behind the teahouse. By the way, the Garden has some special events twice a year (May 5th and November 3rd), featuring ancient court music and dance (YouTube video).