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Lisa's review of the year

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Lisa's review of the year

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2016 Highlights

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Shugakuin Imperial Villa is a large-scale mountain villa built by Emperor Gomizuno’o in 1655. It is located in the foothills of the Higashiyama Mountains and boasts both a breathtaking view of Mt. Hiei and the faraway mountains. The Shugakuin is composed of three villas situated at different heights and, in the Upper Villa there is a garden with pathways laid out in a circuit for strolling, around a large pond that was created by damming a mountain stream.

For the second week we transferred to Okayama to visit Hiroshima, Matsue and Shikoku. Before going to the thought-provoking Peace Memorial Park and Museum we went first to Shukkeien, a garden 1.22 – 1.46 kilometers from the hypocentre, which was designed in 1620 and completely levelled by the bomb. A large number of survivors took refuge here immediately following the bombing, but died before receiving medical care. Their

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A damp day in Matsue

started at the stunning Yuushien Garden, famous for its peonies; the Daikonshima region is the biggest producer of peony seedlings in Japan. Then followed a visit to the well known Adachi Museum, which many consider to have the finest garden in Japan; described by the late founder as ‘a picture scroll.’ With every step you take, the graceful view before you makes you calm and in accordance with the Japanese paintings.

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The highlight of 2016 was a garden tour of Japan in November. The first week was based in Kyoto, which is an immense cultural resource with 2,000 temples, palaces and gardens. We visited many places over five days here, but my favourite garden was Murin-an, created by Jihei Ogawa VII, and designated as a National Place of Scenic Beauty in 1951.

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Murin-An

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Shukkeien Garden &

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Shugakuin Imperial Villa

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Yuushien Garden &

 

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Travelling over the incredible Seto Ohashi Bridge to reach Shikoku, our last day began with a short stop at Zentsuji Temple, one of the main temples on the revered Shikoku 88 Temple Buddhist pilgrimage. We then moved on to the immense hillside Shinto shrine at Kotohira, well off the beaten track and, finally, in Takamatsu, Ritsurin Garden, widely known as one of the best traditional gardens in Japan and designated as a National Place of Special Scenic Beauty in 1953.

 

 

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Ritsurin Garden

remains were interred within the garden which has since been lovingly restored and has about 180,000 visitors each year.

Hiroshima Peace Park

Adachi Museum

Collage Murin An Collage shugakuin Collage shukkeien Collage yuushien Collage ritsurin