In 1619 Toyotomi Hideyoshi appointed one of his trusted retainers, Asano Nagaakira, Daimyo of Hiroshima. On arriving in Hiroshima, Asano Nagaakira ordered one of his own retainers, warrior and master of the tea ceremony Ueda Soko, to lay out a garden for his villa.
The idea was to create the illusion of a “miniature landscape” of islands, mountains and rivers, hence the name “Shukkeien”, which means “miniature-landscape-garden”.
Last Friday evening I went along to Shukkeien to view the autumn leaves. Every year in late November the garden is illuminated and stays open until 9pm so that the public can stroll around the pathways under a canopy of brightly lit canopy of autumn leaves that are reflected by the water of the pond.
Little bridges of various designs connect the pathways that take you around the garden. This simple wooden bridge is one of my favourites.
Last Friday was a clear, dry evening. If you look closely at the next photo you can clearly see Jupiter shining majestically in the evening sky.
Some people disapprove of the tower block that looms over the garden, but for my part, I rather like the way it offers a contrast of glass and steel to the artfully contrived “natural” scenery of the garden.
In the last photo you can see one of the wooden viewing platforms where guests can rest, view the garden across the pond and partake of some tea.
For more information about Shukkeien see: https://shukkeien.jp/