The elegant simplicity of the view formed by the pond, island, trees, and flowers is a true work of art!
Shurakuen is a typical example of a garden belonging to a feudal lord of the Edo period (1603-1868). Mori Nagatsugu, the second feudal lord of the Tsuyama domain, had this garden created between 1655 and 1658, as the garden for his villa, and it was used until the end of the Edo period as a place for audiences with vassals or envoys from other feudal domains, as well as being a private residence for the feudal lord himself; however, in 1870, it was renamed Shurakuen and was opened to the public.
Created by a gardener from Kyoto who followed the tradition of the feudal lord and tea master Kobori Enshu, who had a profound knowledge of both tea ceremony and landscape gardening in the early Edo period, this garden is a stroll garden around a pond, which was modeled on the Sento Imperial Palace in Kyoto.
The pond, which contains four islands of varying size, takes up the majority of the space in the garden, and visitors will undoubtedly be impressed by the exquisite art that created the beautiful silhouettes of the islands reflected on the rippling surface of the water. Cherry blossom in spring, water lilies in summer, scarlet and gold leaves in fall, and the snow-covered landscape in winter: it's easy to see why more than 170,000 tourists visit every year to view the beautiful natural surroundings that achieve a splendid harmony with the changing of the seasons. Although it is located in the heart of the city, many visitors undoubtedly find it a very soothing place, with an elegant simplicity that transports them far from the madding crowd. In September 2002, the government designated Shurakuen as one of the country's top places of scenic beauty.
Address: Yamakita, Tsuyama City, Okayama
Hours open to visitors: 07:00 - 20:00 (November - March: until 17:00)
Directions: 20 minutes on foot from Tsuyama Station (1 hour 50 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station) on the JR Tsuyama Line. (Car) About 15 minutes from the Tsuyama or Innosho Interchange of the Chugoku Expressway (free car park available).