Monday, October 17, 2011

The Walking Tour of Suizenji Park

This is is my third trip in Kumamoto City, Japan. After visiting the Castle and Zoological and botanical garden, the story is continuing..

This is Suizenji Park.
The Suizenji Park View

Suizenji is famous park in Kumamoto city Japan. Besides the Kumamoto castle, zoo, botanical garden and other, Suizenji Park is another interesting tour destination in Kumamoto. The park was built to dedicate to the Hosokawa heritage. The duke Hosokawa is author in Kumamoto after the Kato's clan. He lived in Kumamoto castle and continued by his family to maintain feudal domain system in Kumamoto at the era.
The Suizenji Park, Kumamoto, Japan
The walking tour of Suizenji jojuen takes about 20 minutes.
But, you will lose out if you just enjoy Suizenji about 20 minutes. Spent more time there, and you will get the benefits for 400 yen you paid. There are two entrance gates to enter Suizenji, one usually used for walker and bicycler and another for who drive the car. Since I go to Suizenji by bicycle, I starting from the closed entrance gate [7]. From the entrance gate, you can walk to the left passing the shrine office and the bridge. You will find the Longefity fountain [2] and Izumi Shinto Shrine.  Araound the Izumi Shinto Shrine are Restoration memorial,  Five leaves Pine Tree, Kagura Theater Shrine Amulet Place and Inari Shrine.
With friend in front of the Shinto Temple (Inari Shrine)
The Izumi Shinto Shrine was built in 1878 and dedicated in recognition of the cultural, moral and intellectual leadership of the successive Hosokawa rulers. Jojuen is the precinct of the Izumi Shrine.

Frome the Izumi Shinto Shrine you can continue your walk passing plum grove to the Noh Theater. A stage for Noh plays was built at the same time as the Izumi Shrine. Noh performance are celebrated here in the spring and fall.

Between Izumi Shinto Shrine [Number 2-on map] and the Noh Theater [4] you will meet the statue of Lord Fujitaka Hosokawa and Tadatoshi Hosokawa [11]. There are also Yabusame Rang, Takigi Noh Stage [5] and Square after the statue.  In the right side of your walk, the miniature of Fujiyama mountain [6] is exist. Take a picture there, it is cool!!

Map Of Suizenji Park (See the Remarks below)
In the middle of the park is lake, a small area of water. The water for Longevity. When Tadatoshi Hosokawa selected this site   for his garden, the main reason was the spring-fed pond. It provides clean water that excellent for making tea, and it is also said that this water has miraculous effect on one's longevity. It practices water conservation.
Me, in front of the Lake
From the Noh theater, you go ahead to the Kokindenju Room [8]. Now, this area is for drink tea, the Japanese cultural style. The first lord, Fujitaka (Yusai), was a master of traditional waka poetry and initiated Prince Toshihito the secret of this classical style of poetry in this room.

Besides the room is Meiji Emperor Memorial, and your walking tour of Suizenji jojuen was finished there [7]. When I visited Suzenji Park today, there is traditional ceremony in the Izumi Shinto Shrine. The ceremony is to commemorate the Hosokawa by held a ritual a ceremony and shot arrow competition while riding the horse. The competition was very challenging because it is difficult to make high accuracy while riding horse. However, all participant in shot arrow competition was success but I don't know who the champion. Hope you will find another interesting moment when you visit Suizenji Park.
It's time to go home (go to Kaikan..:) )
As the last, the Suizenji is the name of temple built by third Lord of Hosokawa in 1636 for priest Gentaku (a former priest of rakanji).  It took about 80 years to complete the construction of the temple and garden as tea retreat. The beautiful Momoyama style garden evolved of the fourth and fifth Lords. The Jojuen was named after a character in poem written by Tao Yuanming. The Suzenji Jojuen Garden is official name of this park that represents the Fifty- Three Stations of Takaido Road.

Remark of the Map:

  1. Entrance gate of Shrine
  2. Izumi Shinto Shrine
  3. Longevity Fountain
  4. Noh Theater
  5. Statues of Hosokawa
  6. Miniature of Mt. Fujiyama
  7. Shrine Office
  8. Kokindenju Room
  9. Spring lake
  10. Mist appears in the morning winter (see picture below)
Mist in the Lake (number 10 in the map)
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