In Japan, there are three large parks known as “sandai teien” (the three largest parks). All of these historic and classy parks have extraordinary beauty.
Nevertheless, Japan’s beauty standards are, of course, different from those of other countries. Also, although some are located in Tokyo and Kyoto, these well-known parks have generally located some distance from tourist attractions frequented by tourists.
This article will discuss parks that can be visited by tourists based on three criteria, namely:
- Cultural characteristics of each park
- Access from the main tourist attractions
- Get high ratings from foreign tourists.
Hama-Rikyu (Tokyo) – The contrast between modern architecture and Japanese gardens
Hama-Rikyu Park (Onshi Teien) is located in the Chuo area of Tokyo, which is one of the modern office areas. This type of park that has a location like this is very rarely found.
This park is motivated by a view of high rise buildings and trees such as pine trees and cherry trees. Surrounded by seawater coming from Tokyo Bay, you can also enjoy a different view during the ups and downs here.
Because it is located in the heart of Tokyo, this site was later included in one of Tokyo’s tourism sites. To go to this place you walk from Tsukijishijo Station.
Katsura-Rikyu (Kyoto) – The Eternal Beauty of Japan
Katsura-Rikyu was built in 1615 as a royal family residence at that time. The area is around 69,400 square meters. Has a pond and buildings are arranged neatly. Architecture blends with the natural beauty around it.
The architectural beauty of this place has been recognized not only by prominent Japanese architects but also abroad. Many people say that this park is the best Japanese garden work ever made.
Because it is located in the Nishikyo-Ku area of Kyoto, you can visit this place as one of your tourist destinations in Kyoto.
Also, the park is managed by the Royal Household Agency so that entry is free of charge. However, please note that you must make a reservation in advance if you wish to come here.
Adachi Museum of Art (Shimane) – Japanese Garden Very Popular among Western Tourists
Based on the American Magazine “Sukiya Living / The Journal of Japanese Gardening” which discusses Japanese gardens, the Adachi Art Museum in Shimane has always been ranked first for 12 consecutive years.
In 2013, in the “Michelin Green Guide Japon,” the Adachi Museum of Art won 3 stars and received very high awards from western countries.
The secret of the high appraisal comes from the extent of this park site. The park consists of 6 parts, starting from Japanese garden standards such as Katsura-Rikyu to parks with dry landscapes like Ryoanji, you can see it here.
This place is called a museum because here you can see the beauty of the park from within a building. This building has large glass windows that seem to cut and frame the garden view here. So here you can enjoy the gardens as one of the works of art.
Even though this place is a bit far from the main famous tourist destination, but the surrounding area has been filled with beautiful temples such as the Izumo Taisha temple.
Because it can take more time if you plan to travel to Japan in a rather long term, please visit this park.
Shikina-en (Okinawa) – Ryukyu Park that Will Make You Drifting in a Tropical Atmosphere
The 4th park that we will introduce is the Shikina-en park in Okinawa. Unlike the parks that have been introduced before, this park has a charm that will make you drift in a tropical atmosphere.
Previously in Okinawa, there was a kingdom called the Ryukyu Kingdom that developed their own culture. At that time Shikina-en Park was established as a royal family villa.
You will feel the freshness typical of Okinawa here, a Japanese garden that has harmony between nature and Japanese-style architecture. Also, here there are stone buildings and bridges whose architecture is influenced by Chinese culture.
Ryoanji (Kyoto) – Feel the Extent of Nature in Kyoto’s Stone Park
The picture above is a stone garden in the Ryoanji Temple. Unlike the Katsura-Rikyu and Hama-Rikyu, which consists of green trees, this park uses a natural landscape of sand and stone. Is one type of park called karesansui, which is a Japanese & Chinese traditional garden model that uses a dry landscape.
Even though in Japan, several parks have dry landscapes, but the Ryoanji stone garden is a park that contains an incredibly beautiful arrangement of stones. Also, this park is considered to have philosophical and high cultural significance, and this park is top-rated in Japan.
If you have already paid to visit Ryoanji Temple, you are free to look around this park. This park is very popular with foreign tourists. When visiting to see this park, the tourists sometimes forget the time.
When the seasons change, you will be able to see the beauty of the colors of the trees that have changed, such as the beauty of the colors of the Sakura tree and the shade of the Momiji tree.