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Sankeien Garden in Autumn
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City of Yokohama
Sankeien Garden, first opened to the public in the port of Yokohama in 1906, covers 45 acres and is designated as a National Place of Scenic Beauty. It is a beautiful garden to visit at any time of year but is particularly sensational during autumn.
This Japanese-style garden was designed by Hara Tomitaro, a wealthy silk merchant, known by the pseudonym Hara Sankei. What distinguishes Sankeien is its splendid collection of 17 historic buildings relocated here from places around Japan including Kyoto and Kamakura. The buildings include a three story pagoda, traditional tea houses, residential houses and even a temple hall. Ten of the buildings are designated as an Important Cultural Property by the Japanese government and three more are recognised as Tangible Cultural Properties by the city of Yokohama.
Strolling through Sankeien Garden is a chance to enjoy spectacular landscaping and view these historic buildings in a gorgeous setting a world away from modern Yokohama. In autumn, many consider the best scenic spot in the garden to be around Chōshūkaku, a 400-year old pavilion believed to have belonged to the third Tokugawa shogun Iemitsu. During the peak of the autumn season, from late November to early December, the path behind the pavilion is open to the public, from where you can view the three-storied pagoda framed by the stunning red colors of the surrounding maple trees.
At the East Exit Bus Station of Yokohama train station, go to platform No. 2. Take the municipal bus (Route No. 8 or 148) to the bus stop Honmoku Sankeien Mae, from where it is a five minute walk to the garden.
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