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Minefuneyama Rakuen Gardens


This elegant garden at the foot of Mt. Mifune was created in 1845 for Shigeyoshi Nabeshima, ruler of the Takeo region. He requested a living work of art for his holiday villa. Using the mountain as borrowed scenery, the park spans 50 hectares and is designed to offer painterly scenes in all seasons. It is particularly popular in the spring, when visitors flock to see the sea of pink blossoms produced by some 2,000 cherry trees, followed by 200,000 azaleas in late spring, moving into shady greens in summer. In the fall, the park is awash with the reds, oranges, and yellows of the season's leaves, contrasting with the grey cliffs of the mountain. In winter, red camellias around the pond are striking against a snowy backdrop. The park has a beautiful tea house which is open to visitors. There are events held year-round, from illuminations and projection-mapping to art installations and festivals. If you want to feel like a lord yourself, you can stay at the luxurious Japanese inn, Onyado Chikurintei, or the Mifuneyama Rakuen Hotel, within the grounds.

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