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Shimei-so Spring Water Garden

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Shimei-so Spring Water Garden


A tranquil garden with water features provides the backdrop to a historic villa in Nagasaki

Shimabara Tourism Bureau



Known as the “City of Swimming Carp,” Shimabara in Nagasaki Prefecture, Kyushu, is abundant in natural beauty and spring waters. It is a place to find healing and tranquility.
Nowhere are tranquility and natural spring water in such abundance as at Shimei-so Spring Water Garden, which is located in the center of Shimabara. Here, you can almost feel the pulse of the earth.
This traditional-style Japanese villa was built in the late 19th century over a natural spring where more than 3,000 tons of water pour out each day.Have a cup of green tea and watch from the veranda as the water bubbles up into water features like clear ornamental ponds filled with Nishiki koi carp.
Take in the beautiful views on all sides of the villa, whose elegant interiors flow seamlessly into the landscape design. This was created between 1926 and 1943 by Zen monks and features red pine, maple, and other plants whose colors change with the seasons. The front and left side of the villa stand out over the ponds, one of which features four stone islands.
Recorded as a National Register Tangible Cultural Property and National Registered Monument, Shimei-so is a haven of beauty and calm.


How to get there

Take the shinkansen bullet train from Hakata Station to Isahaya Station (about 1 hour and 10 minutes), then take the Shimabara Railway to Shimabara Station (about 1 hour and 20 minutes). Shimei-so is about a 5-10 minute walk from the station.


2-125, Shimmachi, Shimabara-Shi, Nagasaki- Ken


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