Walking on Drift Ice
Yokokan Garden is considered the jewel in the crown of Fukui City’s gardens and parks, and visitors will immediately see why. A nationally designated scenic beauty spot, it was originally named Osensui and used by the Matsudaira clan, the feudal rulers of the former Fukui Domain, as a secondary residence. The current garden layout is centuries old, enchanting guests just as it did back in the mid-Edo Period.
Despite falling victim to air raids in World War II, the buildings and garden were rebuilt in 1982 using a blueprint of the garden dating from 1823. Visitors can admire the cherry and plum trees along with hydrangeas, peonies, and a host of other colorful blossoms. The large pond in front of the mansion, a feature synonymous with traditional Japanese gardens, covers an area of around 2,300 m2, and is 1.7m at its deepest point. Viewable from the veranda, it is another strikingly beautiful feature of Yokokan Garden.
The present-day structures are equally magnificent and worthy of mention in their own right. Pride of place goes to the Gozanoma (“Lord’s Audience Chamber”), the centerpiece of the garden which accommodated visiting feudal lords in times of yore. Adjacent to this is the Otsukiminoma (“Moon-viewing Chamber”) where visitors can delight in the otherworldly sight of the moon reflected on the pond’s surface.
Yokokan Garden also features Japan’s largest stone bridge, formed using natural stones said to resemble like Daruma gods in repose. Its beauty has won the garden global fame, and it has been continually ranked in the annual Top Ten Japanese Gardens by the American magazine Journal of Japanese Gardening.
Yokokan features Japan’s largest stone bridge, formed using natural stones shaped like Daruma gods in repose. Its beauty has won the garden global fame and it has been continually ranked in the annual Top Ten Japanese Gardens by the American magazine Journal of Japanese Gardening.
Hours: Open 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (last entry at 6:30 p.m.). (Closes at 5:00 p.m. from November 6 to the end of February, with last entry at 4:30 p.m.).
Admission: Entry to the garden is 220 yen, or 350 yen for joint admission to the Fukui City History Museum.
Address: 3-11 Hoei, Fukui City, Fukui Prefecture
Airport: Komatsu Airport
The grounds are closed during the New Year’s holiday season (December 28 to January 4).
+81-776-21-0489 (Fukui City History Museum)
The garden is an approximately 15-minute walk from JR Fukui Station.