Water flows through the nostalgic cistern waterway in the Obata town in Kanra-machi of Gunma Prefecture, where you can still witness the Japanese feudal mansion town atmosphere from the old days; this area was once named as Obata-han, a domain where the late Oda clan once ruled.
Rakusan-en, built by the late Oda clan, is the only Japanese feudal lord garden which remains in Gunma Prefecture, and is famous for its well-designed incorporation of the surrounding scenery of forestry hills and mountains.
In autumn, the garden is a sight to behold, surrounded by vermillion-dyed hills and mountains; in early summer, the verdant greenery and blue sky along with their reflection on the surface of the pond is an unforgettable scene too. Within the premises lies a small open aired pentagonal shaped teahouse hut Koshikake Chaya which is rarely seen in Japan and Ume no Chaya, a one-room teahouse structure that offers a panoramic garden view. There you can enjoy scenic views of different angles of the garden.
For a good resting spot and some little delights, do head over to teahouse Ryoun-tei as it is the only teahouse within the garden that provides a matcha and sweets set which can be enjoyed at either the bench outside of the teahouse or the tatami-style interior within.
Rakusan-en and Ryountei
Access :648-2 Obata, Kanra-machi, Kanra-gun, Gunma Prefecture
Operating hours :March to October / 9am to 5pm (last entrance is at 4:30pm) November to February / 9am to 4pm (last entrance is at 3:30pm)
How to get there :From Tokyo, take the Hokuriku Shinkansen for about an hour and get off at JR Takasaki Station. Then, transfer to the Joshin Dentetsu Railway and get off at Joshu Fukushima Station after about 30 minutes. It takes approximately 10 minutes from there by taxi.