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Koko-en is a popular sightseeing spot located just south-west of Himeji Castle. This vast area consists of 9 separate strolling style gardens of different sizes and landscaping themes that were in style during the Edo Period (1603 ~ 1868). Featured within the garden is a tea ceremony house, a beautiful pond with Nishiki koi fish, a roofed corridor, and a stunning flower garden. The gardens themselves also contain a broad spectrum of Japanese plants, creating the opportunity to construct so many different themes. Koko-en has also been used often as a filming location for various Japanese dramas, samurai-inspired movies, and international movies.
The Garden of the Lord’s Residence contains a small waterfall and pond that reflect the surrounding trees, making for a stunning sight particularly during the Autumn, when the colors match those of the residing koi fish. Other areas feature a more natural atmosphere and allow for the flowers to highlight the scenery during each season.
With 9 separate gardens comes a variety of different plants that bloom at different times. The Spring season brings the brilliantly pink cherry blossoms that are also lit up at night for a spectacular night viewing opportunity. The Summer introduces beautiful flowers such as the butterfly bush and the Japanese snowball flower. With Autumn comes the vibrant fall colors Japan is known for accompanied with night viewing available at each garden alongside ensemble music played by Japanese instruments. Japanese chrysanthemum and daffodils fill the gardens during the Winter seasons.
Koko-en has also been used often as a filming location for various Japanese dramas, samurai-inspired movies, and international movies due to its traditional Japanese architecture and garden design. It serves as a perfect movie set with the long walkways lined with traditionally tiled roofs, reminiscent of the samurai houses that were once located here. Several movies filmed here in the past include the live adaptation of the Rurouni Kenshin manga/anime series, an Indian film Vai Raja Vai, and Japanese movie The Castle of Crossed Destinies.
3,000 national treasures and historical sites in Iwate, Tohoku
One of the three most scenic spots in Japan
Japanese mansion and beautiful garden
A cultural heritage site; great mansion and garden
One of the Three Most Beautiful Gardens in Japan
One of the few places left storing artifacts depicting the lifestyles of samurai
Original castle; regarded as one of four national heritage castles
One of the best gardens in Japan