Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Day 16 - Sankei-en - Inner Garden (Yokohama)

15th February, 2003 - We had the time, and the curiosity... so we paid the extra yen to gain access to the inner garden. The gardens were actually developed at the turn of the 20th century by a wealthy silk merchant...Sankei Hara... Clearly the business to be in back in those days. He established the gardens as a legacy, and it became a sort of historical magnet - where a number of historical buildings have been physically re-located to their current site.

The inner garden is more refined... however... sometimes strange things happen. For instance we were walking along the garden path, when we saw a large granite box... the temptation was too much. T-chan-zombie soon appeared out of the box drooling for "brain....must eat brain". Turns out however... that actually was a coffin. So sometimes goofing around can go too far. I now need to source a steady supply of brains to keep my wife happy... if you know of a good supply - please reply.

Actually... unlike gardens in Australia... gardens in Japan generally don't look their best in Winter as many of the trees have lost their leaves and the grass has died off... yet still the inner garden has a lushness that's very appealing compared to the wilder garden outside.

Outside you will find yourself struggling against the crowd - and there are definitely fewer people in the inner garden... also the food hall is outside which adds to the sense of tranquility and decorum. It's a nice place to stroll...

You'll also find a lot more of the historical buildings inside - though perhaps none as visually stunning as the three-tiered pagoda outside. You can move around many of the buildings - but some are strictly looking from the outside only.

Overall, T-Chan and I were really quite happy to have discovered Sankei-en... unlooked for as it was. It may not have been the "Yokohama" that we were expecting, but it was a good place to catch-our-breath and chill out for a few hours. Thoroughly recommend.

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