Shukkeien Garden, located in central Hiroshima City, is a traditional Japanese-style garden loved by visitors and locals alike. This natural oasis among urban life provides a wonderful setting to slow down and rejuvenate among nature.
Shukkeien Garden was completed in 1620 as a private garden for one of Hiroshima’s feudal lords (daimyo) and translates to “shrunken scenery garden” in Japanese. Although the garden was severely damaged in 1945 during WWII, it was completely restored to its former grandeur and is known as a National Place of Scenic Beauty.
The Edo-period garden is cleverly landscaped to look like miniature mountains, valleys, rivers, bamboo groves, waterfalls, and forests. In the center of the garden, a carp-filled lake features multiple pockets of land that resemble islands. Plants pruned to look like tiny trees sprout from these islands and decorate the surrounding grounds. The pond’s stillness creates a mesmerizing reflection of the area’s natural hues and organic forms. The scenery shines brightest in springtime when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, and in autumn when the foliage turns vibrant.
The garden also has a small stone statue on its northern side to commemorate the people lost during the atomic bombing in 1945.
You can view the expertly crafted scenery from a path around the perimeter of the park or in one of the garden’s many tea houses, which hold tea ceremonies year-round.
Shukkeien Garden is about a 15-minute walk from Hiroshima Station. From Hiroshima Station, you can also take the Hiroshima Sightseeing Loop Bus to the garden (5 mins) or the tram to the Shukkeien-Mae Stop, which is a short walk to the garden (15 mins total).
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