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Shimei-so Spring Water Garden

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


A tranquil water garden 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 a place abundant in natural spring waters. It is a place to find healing and tranquillity.


Nowhere are tranquillity 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 tonnes of water pour out each day: take a cup of green tea and watch from the veranda as the water bubbles up into 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 landscaped garden. This was created in 1926-43 by Zen monks and features red pine, maple, and other plants whose colours 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


10 minutes walk from Shimabara Station.



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