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The Gardens of Wakayama

Negoro-ji Garden
Negoro-ji Garden

Garden Tourism

The gardens of Wakayama embody the deeply rooted connection between the spiritual, cultural, and artistic traditions of the region with nature. They reflect a world that is both ephemeral and constant in the changing of the seasons, the evolution of design, and the structure of society.
They serve as quiet havens for carefree leisure, devoted worship, and personal contemplation. Experience inner peace as you stroll along their winding paths.

The temple complex of Negoro-ji in the foothills of the Katsuragi Mountains was founded by Kogyo Daishi (1095–1143), a notable priest of Shingon Buddhism. The garden is a traditional pond garden with rocks arranged to depict natural features including islands in the shapes of a turtle and a crane. It surrounds Nagusa Goten, a relocated residence of the Kishu-Tokugawas.

Koyasan Garden

The Garden at Shukubo
The Garden at Shukubo

The sacred mountain of Koyasan hosts Kongobu-ji—the head temple for Koyasan Shingon Buddhism. This temple features Japan’s largest rock garden, the 2,340-square-meter Banryu-tei. The garden takes the form of two guardian dragons in a sea of clouds represented by granite stones carefully placed in white sand.
Fifty-one of the 117 temples at Koyasan open their doors to visitors who wish to participate in shukubo—the traditional practice of lodging in a temple to experience monastic life.

Stay at a temple to connect with nature and explore the depths of your spirituality. Many of the temples in Koyasan feature gardens with a variety of styles, balancing natures elements to enhance a sense of deep peace and calm. Some were created by Kobori Enshu (1579–1647), a famous garden designer and tea ceremony master active during the reign of the first Tokugawa shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543–1616).

A Garden features a saltwater tidal pond

Yosuien Garden
Yosuien Garden

Yosuien Garden, located at the estuary of the Suiken Rive, is unique among the gardens of Japan in that it features a large, saltwater tidal pond. Depending on the time of day, visitors can see the water level rise and fall with the tide.

A Garden with Beatiuful Autumn Leaves

Momijidani Teien Garden at Wakayama Castle
Momijidani Teien Garden at Wakayama Castle

Momijidani Teien Garden is one of the most beautiful gardens in Wakayama, especially in autumn when the maple leaves (momiji) turn vibrant shades of red. It is located within the grounds of Wakayama Castle and can be visited together with the castle keep and nearby Wakayama Historical Center.

Extraordinary Garden

Kokawa-dera Garden
Kokawa-dera Garden

The garden of Kokawa-dera Temple is known for its vertical, densely packed arrangement of large stones, rare among dry-landscape gardens. The temple is the third stop on the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage of 33 temples in the Kansai region devoted to the worship of Kannon, the Bodhisattva of Compassion.

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